Angels and Angelology in the Middle Ages

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Angels and Angelology in the Middle Ages

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Angels & Angelology in the Middle Ages

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Angels & Angelology in the Middle Ages


New York


Oxford University Press


Oxford University Press Oxford New York Athens Auckland Bangkok Bogota Bombay Buenos Aires Calcutta Cape Town Dar es Salaam Delhi Florence Hong Kong Istanbul Karachi Kuala Lumpur Madras Madrid Melbourne Mexico City Nairobi Paris Singapore Taipei Tokyo Toronto Warsaw and associated companies in Berlin I badan

Copyright © 1998 by David Keck Published by Oxford University Press, Inc. 198 Madison Avenue, New York, New York 10016 Oxford is a registered trademark of Oxford University Press All rights reserved- No part of this publication may be reproduced, stored in a retrieval system, or transmitted, in any form or by any means, electronic, mechanical, photocopying, recording, or otherwise, without the prior permission of Oxford University Press. Library of Congress Catalog ing-in-Publication Data Keck, David, 1965Angels and angelology in the Middle Ages / David Keck. p. cm. Includes bibliographical references and index. ISBN 0-19-511097-8 i. Angels—History of doctrines—Middle Ages, 600-1500. 2. Angels—Cult. I. Title. 66.2.K43 1998 —dc2i7196-53171

1 3 5 7 9 8 6 4 2 Printed in the United States of America on acid-free paper

for my family

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The completion of a project is a time for giving thanks, and there are several people whose support and assistance have been essential for this book. Professors Steven Ozment and Thomas N. Bisson, the advisors under whom my original dissertation on medieval angelology was written, were model mentors who both challenged and encouraged the project. A Woodrow Wilson Mellon Fellowship in the Humanities provided me with the financial support needed for doctoral work. As a graduate student, I was fortunate to enjoy many late-night collegial conversations about medieval history with Robert F. Berkhofer, III. Pamela Sheingorn and Adelaide Bennett Hagens helped me with many aspects of medieval iconography. Christopher B. Brown provided me with several important angelological references from the Reformation, and was of invaluable assistance in the final preparation of this manuscript. The contributions of Cynthia Read and Lisa Stallings of Oxford University Press have been crucial throughout the stages of book production. Most importantly, my family has supported me constantly, and this book is dedicated to them. To my father, Leander, who fostered my intellectual curiosity. To my mother, Janice, who read my first homework assignments but who can no longer read or write. To my brother, Stephen, who has always been a guardian angel to me. To my wife, Karin Lindt Gollin, whose love surpasses the ardor of the seraphim, and to our new daughter, Olivia Susanna, who is now one year and a day old. Let me give thanks. Manila, The Philippines Feast of Saint Michael and All Angels, 1997

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Introduction: The Plenitude of Medieval Angelology PART I: SCRIPTURE, THE FOUNDATION OF ANGELOLOGY


3 II

The Length of Scripture i: Sacred History and the Creation The Angels of History 13 The Creation and Fall: Controversies and Orthodox Consensus




The Length of Scripture 2: Angels, Israel, and the Church


Angels and Humans Before the Presentation of the Law. Appearance and Iconography, Bodies, Personhood, and Number 28 Angels, the Law, and Israel: Worshippers, Guardians, Punishers 36 Angels and the Incarnation: Subordination to Christ and Mary 39 Angels and the Church: Continuing Ministries, Paradigms for Church and State 42 Angels and the Last Judgment 44


The Depth and Height of Scripture


Allegories, Typologies, and the Angels' Permeation of the Reader's World The Angelic Hierarchies 53 The Individual Orders and their Diverse Ministries 58 The Hierarchies and the Medieval Church 65 Conclusion to Part 1: The Beauty and Propriety of the Angels 68





Scholasticism and the Transformation of Angelology The Quaestio and the New Methods of Angelology 75 The Renewed Interest in Nature and Metaphysics 83 The Sentences and the Professional Study of the Angels




The Angelic Nature in the Thirteenth Century: The Flowering of Medieval Angelology 95 Hylomorphism: Are Angels Composed of Form and Matter? Personhood and Knowledge 99 Love, Joy, and Sorrow 105




Location and Motion 109 Conclusion to Part II: Condemnations, Nominalism, and Completion PART Hi: ANGELS AND RELIGIOUS ORDERS


Monks and Mendicants




Angels, Monks, and the Angelic Gaze 117 St. Francis, His Poor Men, and Angels 123 SEVEN

Franciscan Angelology and the Crises of the Franciscan Order


Bonaventure's Defense of His Order in Paris 129 ]oachim of Fiore, the Apocalypse, and the Angels of History 134 Gerard of Borgo San Donino and the Revolutionary Possibilities of Angelology 138 The Roles of Angelology in the Eschatological Roles of Francis and the Franciscans 141 The Collationes in Hexaemeron: The Great Angelological Synthesis 145 Conclusion to Part III: Angeiic Popes, Franciscans, and Condemnations 152 PART IV: ANGELS AND THE MEDIEVAL CHURCH



Birth, Maturation, and the Regular Religious Practices of Adults Conception, Demonic Assaults, and the Guardian Angel 161 Baptism and Joining the Angelic Community 165 Chastity, Marriage, or Intramarital Chastity 166 Regular Devotional Practices 167 Praters and the Mediation of Angels 168 Marian Devotion and the Importance of Gabriel 170 Responding to Angels: Dulia or Latria 172 "Magic" and the Intercession of Spirits 173 The Mass: Sensing the Angelic Presence 174 The Feast of St. Michael and Annual Religious Practices 179 Hymns, Sermons, Pilgrimages, and Relics 180 Drama: The Enacting of Angelology 184 Confession and the Roles of Angels in Penance 185 Women and Angels: Different from Men's Experiences? 187


Exceptional Practices of Adults, Death, and Resurrection Dreams and Visions: Revelations of Power, Authority, and Danger Mysticism and the Ecstasy of the Angels 197 Warfare, Crusading Ideals, and the Protection of Angels 201 Death and Resurrection 203 Conclusion: The Harvest of Medieval Angelology Notes


Bibliography Index



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Angels & Angelology in the Middle Ages

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Introduction The Plenitude of Medieval Angelology

From the great shrines dedicated to Michael the Archangel at Mont-SaintMichel and Monte Gargano to the elaborate metaphysical speculations of the great thirteenth-century scholastics, angels permeated the physical, temporal, and intellectual landscape of the medieval West. Sculptures, stained glass, coins, clerical vestments, and pilgrim's badges all bore images of the celestial spirits. Each September 29 on the Feast of Saint Michael, clerics all across Christendom delivered sermons on and offered prayers to Michael and his cohorts. By the thirteenth century, angelology had become a required, formal part of the theological curriculum at the University of Paris, and Bonaventure, Aquinas, and their fellow scholastics were required to develop complex angelological systems. So pervasive were angelic matters that a manuscript for a medieval miracle play provides stage directions for portraying an angel "teleporting" a man from one place to another. In the Middle Ages, angels were ubiquitous. How angels came to permeate medieval Christian society is the subject of this book. (Jewish and Muslim angelology, both vast and important topics in their own rights, are considered only to the extent that they influenced Christian angelology.) Medieval Christian angelology is a subject with many, many stories and questions. How did angels become a required part of the curriculum at the University of Paris? Why do angels appear on baptismal fonts? How and why did angels become normative for certain members of the church? What were the popular beliefs about angels, and did these diverge from the angelologies of theologians? Why did some heretics, such as the Revolutionary of the Upper Rhine, claim to derive their authority from heavenly spirits? Which of the many beliefs concerning angels (and fallen angels) appeared for the first time in the medieval period, which were inherited, and which were evolving into new forms? It is by no means clear how angels came to be linked to nearly every aspect of medieval life. Despite the recent resurgence of popular interest in angels, scholars of the Middle Ages have devoted little attention to the spirits of heaven. Angels are not central to Christianity, as is Christ or the church, and historians and 3



theologians of the twentieth century have been preoccupied with other issues. Thus the full plenitude of medieval angelology and an assessment of its significance has yet to be presented. Arguably, given the widespread importance of angels to the men and women of the Middle Ages, the subject of medieval angelology is the most neglected topic in medieval studies. Several scholars have studied aspects of medieval angelology, however, and their work provides windows onto some of the doctrines, practices, controversies, and texts that together constitute the medieval world's comprehensive engagement with the angels of heaven. Most modern studies of medieval angelology focus almost exclusively on the scholastic treatment of angels. The impetus given to Christian philosophy and metaphysics by Pope Leo XIII's Aeterni Patris in 1879 led neo-Thomists such as Etienne Gilson and J. D. Collins to explore the metaphysical and philosophical aspects of scholastic angelology with great care. Gilson's chapters on the angelologies of Aquinas and Bonaventure in his books on their respective Christian philosophies are perhaps the most lucid treatment of scholastic angelology ever written. Collins's The Thomistic Philosophy of the Angels remains the most detailed analysis of the origins and meaning of the Angelic Doctor's angelology (tradition ascribes the origin of this epithet both to the purity of Aquinas's teachings and to their heavenly character).1 These studies reveal that the leading thinkers of medieval Christendom, theologians such as Aquinas and Ockham, were fascinated with angels and explored their mysteries tenaciously. To the scholastics, the universe required the existence of angels, and the theologian had a special responsibility to uncover and describe their sublime nature. Recent essays by Marcia L. Colish, Nancy van Deusen, and Edith Sylla demonstrate that there is yet much important work to be done even in this familiar field of scholastic angelology.2 Another important group of secondary studies on angels, which includes works by Daniel Callahan, Nora Stein von Baditz, and Olga Rojdestvensky, has examined the cult of Saint Michael the Archangel. Of all of the angels, Michael was by far the most important in the Middle Ages. Bonaventure is not unusual when he extols this spirit and his role in the divine economy to popes, cardinals, Franciscans, Beguines, and laypeople. The origins of the cult of Saint Michael remain obscure (it has been suggested that he replaced the pagan worship of Mercury). By the early eighth century, however, major shrines existed at Monte Gargano in southern Italy and at Mont-Saint-Michel in Normandy. ( Michael seems to favor high places, and many shrines were established on mountains and hills where he appeared to the faithful.) Throughout Europe, Christians dedicated numerous churches and chapels to this angel who, according to Apocalypse 12, is the vanquisher of Satan and his minions. A measure of the popularity of the worship of the archangel is the twelfth-century Roman du Saint Michel, written to celebrate the pilgrimages performed on his annual feast, Michaelmas, September 29. Countless clerics delivered sermons and homilies on the angels on the annual celebration, and lords carried his image on their banners in battle. Other focused treatments examine diverse aspects of the spirits of heaven. Jean Danielou's The Angels and their Mission and Eric Peterson's The Angels and the Liturgy survey the patristic discussions of angelology that the Middle Ages inherited and continued to expound. Paul Heinze's Die Engel auf der mitteralterlichen



Mysterienbuhne Frankreichs collates the data on angels in medieval drama. Steven Chase's Angelic Wisdom: The Cherubim and the Grace of Contemplation in Richard of St. Victor carefully examines the importance of Richard's exegesis of the cherubim of Exodus 25 for his understanding of how human beings can experience the immediate presence of God. And Clara Erskine Clement's Angels in Art and Jean Villette's L'Ange dans I'art d'Occident du xiieme-xvieme. siecle examine the depiction of angels in medieval Christian art. The picture of angels in medieval Christianity, however, remains fragmented. For the most part the social, professional, and pastoral contexts of angelology are overlooked. Why did men and women seek the help of the angels in very worldly matters—protection in battle, safe voyages, healing? How did competition between university masters lead them to develop increasingly intricate angelologies? The scholastics who wrote textbooks also prayed, celebrated the Eucharist, and heard confessions. Angels could be an integral part of each of these activities, as they transmitted prayers to God, shared the singing of the Sanctus, and performed penitential functions. Consequently, scholastic texts should be read both in terms of the evolution of ideas and in the context of the devotional and pastoral lives of both masters and students. Similarly, discussions of iconographic traditions and angelic liturgical functions need to be interpreted in light of medieval drama, sermons, and popular works if the vitality and variety of medieval Christianity's rich engagement with angels is to emerge. In short, we still lack an integrated Summa Angelologiae; it is this gap that this study seeks to fill. A comprehensive history of such a multifaceted, syncretic topic presents certain methodological and heuristic difficulties, the most difficult of which is how to disentangle, analyze, interpret, and reweave the different threads of the tapestry. The task requires a wide net for sources; the net must be wide enough to catch traces of angels and angelic beliefs in as many portions of the medieval world as possible. Metaphysics and mystery plays, prayers and pilgrimages, Cathars and cathedrals—these and many more disparate sources together reveal medieval society engaged with angels on all levels and indeed in some unlikely fashions. A range of sources also allows for comparison and contrast. In some respects, the angelology of Bernard of Clairvaux hardly differs from that of Aquinas, but on others, particularly on questions of metaphysics, the Cistercian would not have been able to understand the writings of a man suffused with the categories and concepts of both Aristotle and Pseudo-Dionysius. Further, juxtaposition of the writings of scholastics with evidence from art and other sources makes it possible to consider the relationship between formal and popular angelology. A broad range of sources is essential to understand the evolution of medieval angelology and its continuities and discontinuities with the patristic era. On the one hand, the Middle Ages inherited and continued to promulgate many angelic traditions and doctrines. Scripture, the foundation of all Christian angelology, served as the basis for Augustine's and Aquinas's angelology just as it did for Ignatius, and part of the history of medieval angelology is simply the repetition of doctrines established centuries earlier. However, the eleventh through thirteenth centuries witnessed both deep changes and rich elaborations in angelology. As the cult of Mary developed, for example, so did the importance of



the role of the archangel Gabriel in the Annunciation and the drama of human salvation. In an overview of the plenitude of medieval beliefs about angels, choosing between sources and foci is inevitable. I have chosen to employ one figure's work as a heuristic vehicle for gathering together the reflections and devotional practices of many theologians, clerics, and laypeople. Examining the disparate strands of medieval angelology as they come together in one person provides the framework for a coherent historical narrative that can encompass many centuries and many sources. Thus, we will be prepared to ask whether medieval angelology in general was a series of unrelated doctrines scattered over time and space or a range of practices and beliefs that informed each other and can be considered a whole. These problems are approached through continual reference to the life and writings of a single man, a man who was passionately dedicated to angels, Saint Bonaventure, the Seraphic Doctor (ca. 1217—74). Bonaventure's writings constitute the most complete picture of the roles of angels in the Middle Ages because the thirteenth century was the most important of all medieval centuries for angels, and because his professional career and own personal spiritual development brought him into contact with more elements of the thirteenth-century church than any other single figure. Indeed, he received the epithet of Seraphic Doctor both because of his spiritual and administrative leadership of the Franciscans (who came to be called the Seraphic Order after Saint Francis' encounter with the seraphic Christ on Mt. Alverna), and because his own life and diverse scholastic and devotional writings (in which the seraphim figure prominently) made him "seraphic," one who inflames others to love. His century produced the flowering of medieval angelology. Both in popular practices and in the scholastic understanding of angels, institutional, intellectual, social, and economic developments combined to produce a Christian century replete with angels. The century of the Seraphic Doctor inherited the traditions surrounding the cult of Michael—the feast day, the shrines, and the sculptures in the churches and cathedrals. While Michael's cult had been relatively more important prior to the rise of Marian devotion in the twelfth and thirteenth centuries, Michael continued to be a central figure in the thirteenth-century church and afterward. In the middle of the fourteenth century, France minted a coin, the angelus, which depicted him defeating Satan; and in 1469, Louis XI created the Order of Saint Michael. The thirteenth century also witnessed the culmination of the medieval university and Gothic architecture. The university formalized the professional study of angelology, and Gothic architecture's great monuments presented medieval Christians of all classes with images and stories of the spirits of heaven. This century additionally witnessed a revival of interest in the works of Pseudo-Dionysius, whose Celestial Hierarchy was the most comprehensive of all patristic texts on angels. Most importantly, at this time Aristotle first became widely known to Western Christendom, and his teachings on "intelligences" and "separated substances" transformed the Christian understanding of angels by providing a coherent set of metaphysical concepts congenial to angelic speculation. As Aquinas and Bonaventure asked whether angels were composed of pure form or of form and matter, they were probing the very fabric of reality.



No century before the thirteenth produced an angelology as rich and thorough as those of the scholastics. Indeed, these theologians debated and resolved questions that their predecessors, such as Augustine and Bernard, had deliberately avoided. Arguably, no century after the thirteenth significantly advanced beyond the ideas of these theologians. (A case could be made that the seventeenthcentury angelology of Francisco de Suarez was more developed, but I believe that it can also be shown that he essentially is following the scholastics' agenda.) Further, as the Apocalyptic prophecies of Joachim of Fiore (ca. 1132-1202) began to capture the imagination of many thirteenth-century Christians (particularly Bonaventure and his fellow Franciscans), many turned to the Apocalypse and to the angels of the Apocalypse for clues about the fate of their own age. By the end of the century, many Christians were anticipating the arrival of an Angelic Pope, who would reform the corrupt and decadent church. Bonaventure participated in almost every aspect of this angel-rich thirteenthcentury church. Subsequent centuries would remember him for the many roles he played and the many offices he held. A fifteenth-century painting portrays him in simple Franciscan garb adorned with a cardinal's hat, a bishop's staff, and a robe trimmed with six-winged seraphs.3 From 1236 to 1257, Bonaventure studied and taught Scripture, theology, and metaphysics in Paris. Annually he delivered a sermon on the Feast of Saint Michael. He wrote mystical and devotional treatises such as the Itinerarium Mentis ad Deum. He became the eighth minister general of the Franciscans in 1257 and ultimately the official author of Francis's vita. At the end of his life, he became a cardinal and a bishop. Having the ear of Louis IX and several popes, he was one of the most important figures in Christendom, and in each of these roles, he contemplated, wrote, and preached about the angels. Because he was involved with so many aspects of the church, he wrote about angels in more contexts and with more agendas than any other single figure. Bonaventure's writings, taken as a whole, represent the fullest expression of medieval belief about angels by any author. In this study, his corpus serves both as a coherent introduction to medieval angelology in general and as a vehicle for engaging the writings and practices of other medieval men and women—Bernard of Clairvaux, Hildegard of Bingen, Hugh of Saint Victor, Caesarius of Heisterbach, Aquinas, and many others. The sources for this investigation include both the familiar and the eclectic, the complex angelologies of scholastics and the seemingly off-handed but no less significant remarks of laypeople. The story of the unfolding of angelology in the Middle Ages and the permeation of medieval society by angels culminates in the thirteenth century. By the year 1300, when Dante sets off on his poetic journey through the afterlife, angelic doctrines, habits, and expectations had reached their fullest expression, which later medieval centuries may continue, modify, or dismiss, but to which they do not significantly add. The four parts of this study pursue the elusive angels topically, from the scriptural foundation of medieval angelology, through the scholastic considerations of the angelic nature, to the applications of angelology to the religious or-



ders, and finally to the roles of angels in the medieval church as a whole. This study proceeds historically within a theological framework, examining the historical evolution of particular angelological elements within each of the subject areas. Points of consensus and disagreement will be identified, but preferring a broad brush, I have concentrated on describing the angelological agenda of the Middle Ages as whole rather than on specific, lengthy historical evolutions or detailed doctrinal arguments. The first two parts of this study, on Scripture and on academic theology, establish the basic "facts" concerning angels, the formal doctrinal content of medieval beliefs about the spirits of heaven. They establish the orthodox propositions concerning the angels (such as the number of angels and whether they have natural bodies) advanced by the leading theologians of the Middle Ages. Part I, "Scripture, the Foundation of Angelology," initiates the study because the Bible provides the basis for all Christian reflections on angels. Angels are present throughout Scripture, and must be confronted by all of its readers (even if they demythologize them, as many modern readers do). For medieval Christians, the Bible was the primary source for understanding their own lives and world. As Scripture presented the angels ministering to the faithful, worshipping God, chastising the wicked, or illuminating souls, so Bernard of Clairvaux, Hildegard of Bingen, Jacobus de Voragine, and their contemporaries expected angels to serve these same functions in their own day. Chapters i and 2 are devoted to this foundational material. The last chapter of part I examines the principles of medieval exegesis of the angels of Scripture in the context of the typological relationships between biblical stories of angels and the medieval world. Both the literal narratives of Scripture and figurative readings of the Bible provided an immediate link between the angels of the Middle East and Christians of the medieval West. Medieval readers discerned not only their own historical continuity with the stories of Scripture but also specific allegorical prophecies and prefigurements that anticipated some of their own contemporaries and their experiences with angels. Scripture also revealed that there are many different types or orders of angels—seraphim, cherubim, powers, principalities, etc.—and their role in medieval exegesis and thought concludes chapter 3. Part II, "Angels, the Philosopher, and the University: the Nature of the Angels," investigates the transformation wrought by the incorporation of Aristotelian logical, epistemological, and metaphysical concepts and categories into the traditional, rather unsophisticated angelology that the thirteenth century inherited. If Scripture provided the basis for angelology, pagan philosophy contributed the concepts and theological methods that enabled medieval scholastics to explore the mysteries of the angels with great precision and rigor. In the thirteenth century, angelology became at once a Christian science and a syncretic science. Chapter 4 examines the ways in which Aristotelian logic and the evolution of the University of Paris in the twelfth and thirteenth centuries combined to transform both the scope and techniques of medieval angelology. The evolution from the patristic angelology inherited by the early Middle Ages, as seen in Bernard of Clairvaux, to the early scholastic work of Robert Pullen, and ultimately to the complex angelologies of Aquinas and his colleagues clearly reveals



this process of transformation and expansion. Finally, chapter 5 explores Bonaventure's Commentary on the Sentences as a representative text in order to detail and illuminate medieval ideas about the philosophical, physical, and metaphysical aspects of the nature of the angels. Whereas the first two parts of this study focus on the doctrinal and prepositional elements of angelology, the third and fourth parts explore the application of beliefs about angels to the medieval church as a whole. Part III, "Angels and Religious Orders," investigates the ways in which angels became normative for groups such as the Benedictines, Cistercians, and Franciscans. Chapter 6 concentrates on the monastics. For the cloistered, angels serve as powerful models of chastity, obedience, and devotion. In part because Christ appeared to Saint Francis in the form of a seraph, the Franciscans even more than members of the other religious orders, were dedicated angelologists. In chapter 7 it is seen that Bonaventure's writings addressing both orthodox and heretical Franciscan angelology constitute the most vigorous and sustained medieval treatment of angels in the midst of church crises. Part IV, "Angels and the Medieval Church," explores the ways in which angels were integrated not only with scholastic theology and religious orders but with every aspect of the church. Building on the formal theological beliefs established in previous chapters, this section presents the roles of angels in the medieval church in the broadest possible scope. Chapters 8 and 9 adopt the life of an individual Christian as a heuristic device. Proceeding through each phase of life from birth through maturation and death, these chapters examine the ways in which angels impinged on medieval devotional lives and practices. Both ordinary beliefs concerning the angels (such as guardian angels) and irregular applications and expectations of angels (as in mysticism) receive examination. To medieval Christians, angels were inseparable from their experiences and expectations of the sacraments, mystery plays, demonic temptations, prayers, the church calendar, the cult of the Blessed Virgin Mary, and every other element of their religious lives. Finally, having synthesized material ranging from Scripture to church dedications, from metaphysics to mystery plays, from the battle-banners of knights to the devotional practices of monks and laypeople, the Conclusion, "The Harvest of Medieval Angelology," draws it all together and defines the particular characteristics of this curious subject. Rich descriptions of the traditions, evolutions, and revolutions that culminated in one era's angelological synthesis establish the ways in which angels were integral to medieval Christianity as a whole. Implicitly, this broad presentation thus seeks to foster an ambitious agenda. It demonstrates the need for subsequent, more detailed reinterpretations of many aspects of the Middle Ages in light of the plenitude of medieval angelology.

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Scripture, the Foundation of Angelology

In Daniel 7:10, Daniel has a vision of "a thousand thousands" of angels serv^S&r ing God. For medieval Christians, Scripture was the primary source for understanding their own world. This passage provided Aquinas, Bonaventure, and others with evidence that their universe contained countless angels who served God and ministered to humans.1 Men and women would have been familiar with this and other stories of angels in the Bible from a variety of sources. Sermons, drama, the stone and glass of cathedrals and churches, and the writings of the theological tradition all constantly presented these narratives. From these encounters between the patriarchs, apostles, and angels, the Fathers first developed the foundation and framework for angelology, and on many of the most important angelological issues, medieval readers followed their lead. Prior to the development of formal angelology in the university schools, most discussions of angels appear in commentaries or homilies on Scripture, works which themselves drew heavily from the Fathers. It was in the context of reading and expounding on Scripture, for example, that both Gregory the Great in his Homilies on Ezekiel and his Moralia on job and Bernard of Clairvaux in his Sermons on the. Song of Songs developed their most important analyses of angels. Every aspect of medieval angelology, from the scholastic through the devotional, came from or passed through the angels of Scripture and patristic exegetical traditions. No single treatise covers all of the biblical roles of the spirits of heaven and the ways in which medieval Christians interacted with them. Most men and women of the Middle Ages encountered the angels of Scripture in a wide variety of liturgical, devotional, or exegetical occasions, and hence no one wrote a compendium of angels in Scripture. Instead, the plethora of writings and other sources testifies to the fact that angelic exegesis was a vital and regular element of medieval Christendom. Prayers, sermons, records of visions, theological textbooks, and iconographic traditions each reveal clerics and laypeople addressing and discussing the angels of Scripture. A complete picture of the medieval understanding of these biblical spirits requires examination of a



diverse range of sources, and thus a heuristic framework is needed to piece the evidence together. Three interwoven categories provide keys for understanding medieval angelic exegesis. (Exegesis, for these purposes, is most broadly construed to include devotional applications and other "readings" of the angels in Scripture.) Bonaventure's Prologue to his Breviloquium, a handbook of theology written for his fellow friars, follows Ephesians 3:14-19 and argues that Scripture exhibits three particular characteristics: length, depth, and height. By length, he means that the stories of the Bible contain the long, unbroken history of the salvation of humanity from the creation through the Last Judgment. By depth, he means the multiple levels of meaning (literal, allegorical, moral, and anagogical) any given passage may contain. By height, he refers to the series of hierarchies, including angelic hierarchies, that permeate the books of the Bible. Together, these three—the history of humanity's regeneration, the traditional fourfold view of Scripture, and the hierarchy of creatures—provide a useful framework for examining how medieval Christians as a whole read the angels of Scripture. These three categories also suggest some of the dimensions of the vitality of medieval angelology. Length, depth, and height each invoke a different temporal relationship between angels and the medieval world. The narrative of human history enabled Christians to see how angels and humans have interacted in the past and will continue to interact in the future. The typological and anagogical levels of Scripture led people to see how angels permeate the present. The hierarchies of angels ultimately allowed Christians to contemplate not only transcendent, atemporal stability and permanence, but also the proper hierarchical ordering of society and the church. Although some of the categories overlapped (the hierarchies, for example, are active in temporal human affairs), these three different kinds of temporal relationships between Christians and angels constituted the basic ways in which exegetes read the angels of Scripture.

O •N


The Length of Scripture i Sacred History and the Creation

The Angels of History Just as Christian history was illustrated in the portals of Notre Dame de Paris by sculptures of the biblical patriarchs, early church Fathers, and medieval saints, medieval Christians saw themselves in the context of an ongoing narrative that began in Genesis and would culminate in the Apocalypse. In viewing Abraham garbed as a medieval knight on the walls of a cathedral, they could figuratively see themselves in the narratives of Scripture. Relics, crusades, pilgrimages, and narratives of pilgrimages helped to establish a sense of an immediate connection between medieval Europe and the stories of ancient Israel and the early church. These narratives, the length of Scripture, provided a discrete set of historical experiences that defined the world (past, present, and future), human spiritual growth, and beliefs about angels. It was possible indeed to see in the history of Israel and its encounters with celestial spirits the story of the "restoration of the whole human race." Thus a late-eleventh-century pilgrims' chant asking Christ to send an angel to lead them characteristically employs images from several biblical stories of angels guiding humans.1 The basic doctrinal understanding of this narrative of human sin and divine salvific activity, and the roles of the angels in these, had been established in the patristic era. Jean Danielou's The Angels and Their Mission presents his study of patristic angelology through the framework of this history of human salvation. The Middle Ages inherited the early church's readings of the angels of the Bible, and what is perhaps most striking is the basic continuity between the two eras. Isidore of Seville, for example, defers to Gregory the Great and Jerome in his discussion of angels in his Etymologiae. He raises no new questions and provides traditional responses to some of the frequently discussed angelological questions (such as why the angels are said to have wings—it is a sign of their swiftness in their ministries). Similarly, Honorius of Autun in the early twelfth century raises no new significant questions concerning the angels in his explorations of the creation and fall of the angels. Bernard of Clairvaux's angelic exegesis is essentially the same as numerous 13



patristic readings—the examples of continuity are endless.2 Whereas the scholastics of the thirteenth century would develop new metaphysical approaches to the angels, medieval angelological exegesis was, despite certain exceptions that will be examined below, remarkably unoriginal. Indeed, the most noticeable medieval developments in this area, as will be seen, are matters of increased emphasis rather than originality. As in the patristic era, different roles of the angels in the biblical narratives were emphasized at different times owing to the liturgical calendar, changing interests in particular books, and the needs of diverse devotional habits. September 29, the Feast of Saint Michael, became the annual occasion for reflecting on the ministries of the archangel as revealed in the books of Daniel, Jude, and the Apocalypse. The performance of a miracle or mystery play might present angels at the creation, just as debates over Aristotelian cosmological theories might evoke a complex discussion of whether angels participated in the creation as co-creators. The increasing importance of the cult of Mary produced a greater interest in the Annunciation and the role of Gabriel in the drama of human salvation. And the celebration of a given saint's feast day might evoke the story of angels escorting the soul of Dives to heaven as narrated in Luke 16. Juxtaposing medieval writings from disparate sources with selections from those of the patristic era makes it possible to develop a coherent picture of the diverse contexts and doctrines constituting medieval angelological exegesis. Largely because of the continuity between patristic and medieval readings, medieval exegesis can be seen as "coherent" in that most theologians, even when they disagree, are asking similar questions within similar frameworks. Moreover, with the exception of certain expositions of the creation, fall, and confirmation of the angels, there are relatively few major disagreements or controversies on these issues (by contrast there were vehement arguments and even formal ecclesiastical condemnations over questions of angelic nature and metaphysics). The picture is not fully complete in any one author (or at any one time), but when studied together, medieval views of the angels of Scripture appear as a coherent whole. For two reasons, Bonaventure's body of writings provide perhaps the best single source for organizing the reconstruction and synthesis of how Christians throughout the medieval period would have understood the length of angelology. First, his era witnessed a blossoming of devotional habits and opportunities for the laity, and as a member of an order of preachers, he was particularly responsible for preaching on angels on a regular basis to a wide range of audiences. Second, and perhaps more important, as exegetes the Franciscans were particularly trained in the study of the literal, historical reading of the entire Bible. Whereas the exegetes of previous centuries and indeed other religious habits would have been relatively more interested in exploring the allegorical dimensions of the angels of Scripture, Bonaventure and his colleagues were keenly focused on the literal presence of the angels in biblical narratives.3 Two elements of their training led the Parisian Franciscans to place a great emphasis on the literal meaning of Scripture and of angels. First, under the influence of Aristotelian epistemology, thirteenth-century exegetes on the whole tended to



stress the importance of the literal, historical meaning. According to Aristotle, higher spiritual realities could be known only through sensible objects. (Consequently, for those following Aristotle, the Letter would give life to the Spirit.) Second, following Francis's recovery of the literal Christ, the Franciscans tended to place an even greater emphasis on a literal reading of Scripture. As the imitation of the historical Jesus became more important, so did the literal meaning of the entire Bible. Thus the Franciscan school in Paris required that the initial training in Scripture was to be a literal reading of the Bible. Moreover, whereas previous decades of biblical teaching had focused on individual books of Scripture, the friars renewed the practice of teaching the Bible whole or in large parts. Salimbene de Adam, for example, a Franciscan and near-contemporary of the Seraphic Doctor, boasted of Brother Bartholomaeus Anglicus, "who lectured on the literal meaning of the entire Bible at Paris."4 Thus, when he was a student, a baccalaureus biblicus from 1248 to 1250, Bonaventure presented a literal reading of all of Scripture. Such a reading, called cursorie, required him to comment briefly on Scripture's literal meaning. His academic training led him to encounter and consider all the angels of Scripture from the cherub guarding the gates of Paradise (Gen. 3:24) to the angels of the Apocalypse. And as part III of this book will make clear, the keen Franciscan interest in the angels of Scripture, particularly those of the Apocalypse, was both a cause of and response to a series of crises threatening their order's very existence. Because of his particular Franciscan training and vocation, the Seraphic Doctor's angelological corpus adumbrates both the patristic reading of the literal significance of the angels in the biblical narratives and the ongoing but scattered witness to these angelic roles in the earlier medieval centuries. From the vantage point of his writings, then, it is possible to look back on the terrain of earlier writers, to discover continuities, discontinuities, and the emergence of new developments and emphases in medieval angelological exegesis. As the literal narrative of the Bible, the length of Scripture, is the history of the cosmos from creation until the final blast of the trumpet, the length of angelology is the story of the angels' roles and appearances in this narrative. For medieval Christianity, this constitutes the fundamental framework for understanding what angels are and what they do. Seeing how the angels are related to this history in medieval life and thought requires a somewhat artificial division of this narrative into six periods: the creation, confirmation, and fall of the angels; the time before the presentation of the Law to Moses; the era of the Law from Moses to Christ; the Incarnation; the era of the church (from the Resurrection of Christ till the end of time); and the Last Judgment and the end of all things. Each of these periods is marked by special characteristics in the evolving relationship between God and humanity, and in each of these periods angels play distinctive roles and exhibit particular features. Because the events of the first period were so important in defining the characteristics of the celestial spirits, the remainder of this chapter is devoted to the creation, confirmation, and fall of the angels. The medieval understanding of the remaining five periods will be discussed in chapter 2.



The Creation and Fall: Controversies and Orthodox Consensus "In the beginning, God created the heavens and the earth." The first book of Moses begins with the account of God's creation of the cosmos and every creature in and on the celestial and terrestrial orbs. The Christian investigation of these creative acts constitutes one of the most intricate and refined aspects of angelology. From the patristic era through the medieval period, the roles of the spirits in the Genesis creation story were frequently explored.5 Aquinas dedicates three quaestiones of the Summa Theologiae to the topic. Over half of the sections devoted to angels in Bonaventure's Breviloquium and Commentary on the Sentences examine the details of the creation, fall, and confirmation of the angels. Similarly, Dante devotes much of canto XXIX of the Paradise to these subjects. The frequent iconographic depictions of the creation in stone or illuminations, the dramatization of the events on the medieval stage, and even heretical conflicts, however, are reminders that although the scholastics explored the intricacies of the creation in the greatest detail, these doctrines and narratives belonged to all of Christendom. Indeed, these subjects informed the entire life of the church, as a liturgical writer such as John Beleth reveals when he discusses the relationship between the creation and fall of the angels and the place of their Mass in the weekly cycle of votive Masses.6 The three events of the creation, fall, and confirmation of the angels transpired within the space of an instant, yet they constitute the essential point of departure for understanding the angels, their characteristics, and what their functions might be. Theologians extensively investigated these first moments of the angels, because of the kinship between angels and humans. Of all God's creatures, human beings are nearest to the angels, and angelology thus promises to illuminate anthropology. In the modern world, the impulse to learn about human nature from closely related beings has shifted subjects from seraphim to simians. Whereas modern scientists study the origins of the apes to uncover clues about humanity, medieval theologians investigated angels. Even when theologians disagreed with him, Augustine's interpretation of the creation and the first moments of angelic existence, and his own synthesis of much of patristic angelology, provided the framework for the medieval Christian's understanding of these issues. In Books XI and XII of the City of God and in his De Genesi ad litteram, Augustine explored the creation event and the details of the creation, fall, and confirmation of the angels. Indeed, the entire second half of the City of God is an explication of the history of this City, a city comprised of both saints and angels. Questions important to medieval theologians, such as the issues of whether, when, and where the angels were created had been raised by him, as had the reasons for the fall of the evil angels and the knowledge, attributes, and soteriological potential of angels and demons before and after the fall. The refutation of some of Origen's teachings concerning the angels, their fall, and possible redemption, which was central to many medieval theological agendas, also had a precedent in Augustine. (It should be noted that many of Origen's teachings—such as his affirmation of angels both as protectors of nations and as individual guardian angels—were well within the mainstream



of orthodox angelology.) Augustine's views and the patristic consensus were transmitted to the Middle Ages both directly and by theologians such as Tajon of Saragossa whose seventh-century Sentences collated the works of Augustine, Gregory the Great, and others. As Augustine was well aware, Genesis does not provide certain details concerning the creation that would have facilitated Christian angelology. In particular, Genesis seems to remain silent on the question of the divine creation of the angels. In stark contrast to its explicit references to other creatures, the Genesis account apparently says nothing of the angels' coming into being. The questions of whether, when, where, and how remained completely open for speculation. Thus Augustine declares, "[I]t is not plainly said [in Scripture] whether or when the angels were created; but if mention of them is made, it is implicitly under the name of 'heaven' . . . or perhaps under the name of 'light.'"7 In adopting this interpretation of Genesis, the bishop of Hippo was following the lead of Philo of Alexandria (ca. 20 B.C.-ca. A.D. 50), a Hellenized Jewish exegete and philosopher, who had interpreted the "heavens and earth" as the creation of the spirits.8 Traditional presentations of the creation follow this interpretation and include the creation of the angels on the first day. Thus, an early-thirteenth-century decorated manuscript presents the creation of the angels in the first of the six circles of creation.9 In both the patristic era and the Middle Ages, the apparent silence of Genesis exacerbated the problematics of the orthodox view of the creation of the angels and related doctrines. These subjects constituted something of a battlefield between Christians and several different types of non-Christians—philosophers, Gnostic and Cathar dualists, and even pagan magicians. The question of the creation of the angels was problematic for Philo and the church Fathers primarily because several schools of pagan philosophy advocated doctrines concerning uncreated spirits that somehow mediated between God and the corporeal creation.10 Aristotle's spirits were eternal and uncreated (as was the universe itself). The Neoplatonists' scheme of emanations from the divine as the source of eternally uncreated spiritual beings provided these philosophers with angellike spirits who were the real creators of the universe. In addition to the philosophers, the Gnostics of the patristic era also saw the angels and their own peculiar beings, the aeons, as participating in the creation. Their God was quite removed from the created, material universe, which the Gnostics regarded as evil. Seeking to avoid the problem of theodicy with regard to an obviously imperfect creation, they ascribed to the angels and aeons the role of creator. The spirits, understood as angels or aeons or both, were themselves uncreated; they eternally proceeded or emanated from God. In the patristic era, then, the Neoplatonists and Gnostics were the primary opponents to the orthodox doctrine of God as sole creator of the entire universe. As early as the second century, Irenaeus writes against heretics who claim that angels created the world.11 Out of these debates, the early church asserted "the doctrine of God as Creator unequivocal."12 In 325, the two hundred plus bishops who met at Nicea to address the crisis of the Arians made the first major church pronouncement concerning angels. The prelates did not even refer to the angels by name. They declared the church's belief in God, "the maker of heaven



and earth and of all things visible and invisible." According to the Fathers, God created the angels despite the apparent silence of Genesis. In addition to theological and philosophical controversies, popular beliefs in the powers of pagan diviners, astrologers, and magicians evoked Christian considerations of angelology because theologians of late antiquity and the early Middle Ages believed that such people derived their powers from demons. Valerie I. J. Flint argues that the functions of pagan daemons as intermediary spirits of power and knowledge devolved to both Christian angels and demons, the former assuming roles and powers compatible with Christianity. Because some held that magi' cians actually could create animals with demonic aid, it became important to delineate precisely what creative powers angels and demons possessed.13 As shall be seen in part IV of this book, because bishops, priests, and monks realized the pastoral need to replace pagan diviners and healers with Christian "magic," angelic cults and prayers to angels were legitimated as Michael, Raphael, or even specific orders of angels assumed roles of protector of travelers or healer. Although many theologians of the Middle Ages were able to accept the patristic answers to the questions raised by the creation—Bernard does not hesitate when he states that the angels are created beings, and even Abelard's controversial Sic et Non does not raise any questions about the angels and the creation— many other theologians, particularly the scholastics, found themselves contending with non-Christians on issues similar to those faced by the Fathers.14 In her extensive work on Peter Lombard and scholastic theologians of the twelfth century, Marcia L. Colish has examined the controversies surrounding the doctrine of the creation and its relationship to scholastic angelology. Beginning with the revived interest in Platonic and Neoplatonic creation accounts initiated by the school of Chartres, theologians became vigorously involved in debates over the creation, and a number of different views emerged. Was the hexaemeral Genesis account of creation in six days to be read literally? If allegorically, did God create the heavens, earth, and all creatures all at once, simul (as Augustine, Stephen Langton, and Robert of Melun maintained), or was there perhaps a hierarchical scheme of creation, whereby the most dignified were created first (as for the school of Laon and William of Auxerre)? Or could God have created the angels, the heavens, and unformed prime matter at once and then created the remaining creatures hexaemerally (as for Peter Lombard and many others)? In this context, theologians such as Hugh of Saint Victor and William of Conches explored the similarities and dissimilarities between Genesis and the Timaeus. In such discussions, the roles of the angels in the creation—whether they were co-creators or whether they shared the knowledge of God's creativity—again became important problems.15 In addition, because of the dualist Cathar heresy, and its challenges to Christian doctrine (and also because of Origen's teaching of apocatastasis, the universal salvation of all, including demons), theologians once again had to defend not only God as sole creator but also the orthodox distinction between angels and humanity and the incapacity of the demons to be redeemed. As a consequence, integrating the angels with particular accounts of the creation and fall was the dominant context for scholastic angelology in the twelfth century. In the history of angelology, however, it was to be Aristotle and his pagan com-



mentators who were to offer the most decisive challenges and who were to evoke the most sustained angelological investigations of the Middle Ages. For Bonaventure, as for all orthodox theologians of the Middle Ages, there was no question that God created the spirits of heaven. In the Commentary on the Sentences, he responds to specific erroneous teachings of the philosophers concerning the origins of the intelligences. He himself refers only to "plures . . . philosophi" who argued that angels were not created by God but that God produced only the highest spirit, which in turn produced the highest celestial orb and the second highest spirit and so on.16 Giles of Rome (ca. 1245-1316) was more precise in his attribution of these theories in his Errores Philosophorum (ca. 1268-74). An Augustinian hermit, Giles had been a student of Aquinas, and in 1287 the Augustinian Order declared that Giles's ideas were to be taught throughout their schools (five years later, he became general of the order). The false teachings he attacked originated with Arabian philosophers who had combined various aspects of Neoplatonic and recently recovered Aristotelian thought. Avicenna (d. 1037) and Algazel (d. I I I I) had both advanced the idea of the production of the spirits occurring before the beginning of time.17 These views of the origins of the intelligences threatened Christian angelology, and theologians felt compelled to attack them in order to defend orthodox Christian doctrines. The arrival of rival intellectual systems in medieval Christianity thus compelled certain twelfth- and almost all thirteenth-century scholastics to explore the creation of the angels with greater clarity and with more depth than their immediate theological predecessors. That philosophers had asserted the existence of angel-like beings suggested that theologians could speak of a natural angelology, and indeed, it became possible to formulate philosophical proofs demonstrating that the existence of angels was required. (This subject and the recovery of Aristotle and his commentators in Western Christendom will be discussed in part II.) The apparent silence of Genesis on the creation of the angels was so troubling that it consistently prompted medieval exegetes to discuss the reasons for such a serious omission. As Bonaventure seeks to defend the primacy and self-sufficiency of Scripture in the face of non-Christian doctrines about uncreated spirits, he struggles against this seeming lack of an express biblical warrant for the orthodox position. He declares that the book of beginnings seems to omit the story of the creation of the angels because the story of the Bible is the story of "reparation." And since fallen angels cannot be redeemed, "nothing is said explicitly and literally about their creation and fall." Nevertheless, Scripture points to their creation "symbolically"; the references to the heavens in the Genesis account point to God's creation of the angels.18 Hence Scripture takes up within itself all things pertaining to the creation, since Scripture points to God's providential workings through all things. Aquinas, too, was uncomfortable with the Genesis account, and his treatment of the question of the creation of the angels in his Summa Theologiae (i .6i.i) deserves mention here for it offers not only an important contrast with Bonaventure but also a rare glimpse into medieval "historical-critical" exegesis. In addition to following Augustine's lead in reading the "light" of Genesis as the angels, Aquinas also follows the bishop of Hippo in offering Psalm 148:2—5 as proof of God's creation of the




heavenly spirits. In verse 2, the angels praise God, and in verse 5, God is said to have made those things in the preceding verses. More revealing is Aquinas's explanation of why Moses did not speak of the angels in the early chapters of Genesis. The great patriarch omitted such things because he was "addressing an undeveloped people, as yet incapable of understanding an incorporeal nature." Had Moses spoken of such high and powerful spirits, "it would have proved to them [the Israelites] an occasion of idolatry, to which they were inclined."19 Aquinas here presents a far more sophisticated argument than Bonaventure uses. Aquinas had developed this perspective on the history of thought through his investigation of the origins and development of the idea of universal matter.20 For Aquinas, the angels revealed their mysteries as the human race became more capable of understanding them. Bonaventure, whose career led him away from the history of pagan philosophy and toward the administration of the Franciscan order, never quite developed the historical sensitivities to the evolution of ideas that Aquinas acquired. On these most important issues concerning the creation and the angels—that angels are created by God and that God alone is to be considered a creator in this sense of bringing something into existence ex nihilo—Christian theologians of the medieval period did not differ from each other or from the orthodox patristic consensus. The scholastics of the thirteenth century certainly differed from their predecessors in the extent to which they explored the mechanics and metaphysics of the creation. Their conclusions are far more detailed and precise than Bernard's or even Augustine's. At the same time, the scholastics, like the Fathers, also sometimes disagreed among themselves on less crucial issues—such as whether angels were created with grace of any sort, or whether the angels were created before the corporeal world—and while some disputes could be bitter, in many cases the scholastics agreed to disagree. They willingly acknowledged that the limitations of human reason and divine revelation prevented them from demonstrating with absolute certainty the probity or falsehood of certain propositions concerning the marvelous event, the creation. Aquinas and Bonaventure, for example, at times acknowledge that it is possible to defend certain positions opposed to their own (and sometimes they would have had each other in mind). While they prefer to reconcile opposing arguments, they are willing to admit the possibility of diverse answers to some questions. When confronted with a situation in which reason, Scripture, and theological tradition could support more than one answer, Bonaventure prefers to resolve the matter by supporting the proposition that the majority of church doctors have held. Aquinas, too, defers to patristic authority, but at other times he characteristically is more daring in his speculations and decides on certain propositions because they are more in accord with reason.21 While the early church pronounced that angels were indeed created by God, another question posed by pagan philosophers remained: Did angels shared in the creation of the rest of the universe? Could they be, in some sense, "creators"? Could they bring something into being ex nihilo or could they have been even God's co-creators? Scripture perhaps authorized such a view. Augustine had read the us of "Let us make man" (Gen. 1:26-27) in terms of the Persons of the Trinity, but first century Jews, Barnabas (d. 61 ?), and perhaps Justin (ca. ico-ca. 165), had seen the us in terms of God's assistants, the angels.22 Similarly, for both the Aris-



totelians and Neoplatonists, some sort of spiritual beings were responsible for the creation of the material world. In the City of God, Augustine responds to Plato and his followers who believe that humans and animals were created by lesser spirits and not by God. Angels, the bishop of Hippo asserts, can simply assist God in making things the way a gardener helps to bring forth specific plants, but only God is to be considered the creator.23 The Nicene phrase "maker . . . of all things" made this a matter of dogma. While the Council of Nicea firmly established God as the sole creator, angels and their role as God's agents remained part of Christian representations of the creation. Thus a bronze door on Hildesheim cathedral (constructed in 1015) portrays an angel at the creation of man. The angels are present, but they are not creators. Although Nicea and Augustine provided the authoritative Christian response to this question of angelic creative power, the issue reappeared in the Middle Ages. In the twelfth century, Clarembald of Arras, himself a member of the school of Chartres, had declared against some of his Neoplatonically inclined colleagues that angels, unlike the intelligences of Neoplatonists, were not involved in God's creation of the cosmos. Bonaventure, too, rejected the "modern philosophers" who used Genesis 1:26-27 to defend the erroneous proposition that angels were involved in the creation.24 The modern philosophers, unidentified in Bonaventure's text, are probably theologians or philosophers in Paris who were incorporating the work of the recently translated Aristotelian texts and Arabian commentaries into their own angelological speculations. Again, Giles is more specific. He condemns Avicenna for espousing the view that the intelligences and not God were the creators of the universe.25 By attacking their master, Giles attacks the modern philosophers of Paris. But what, precisely, are the productive, generative, or creative powers of the angels? Even if they were not co-creators at the beginning of time, can they be said to make or create anything subsequently? Bonaventure's rejection of the angels as creators or co-creators of the cosmos is in the context of defining the creation itself. By contrast, in this debate over the extent of post-Genesis angelic power, he explores exactly what productive capacities the angels might have in another context, demonology. Bonaventure explores angelic creativity in these two different contexts because he considers these topics in the course of his Com.' mentary on the Sentences of Peter Lombard (an important book for medieval angelology, which will be discussed in chapter 4). In his Sentences, Lombard discussed these topics in the two contexts of the creation and demonology, and therefore subsequent scholastic users of his textbook explored these topics in the same two contexts. On this subject of angelic productive capacities subsequent to God's creation of the cosmos, Lombard drew from the bishop of Hippo. Augustine had confronted those who believed that magicians could create frogs and serpents through the aid of the demons, thus raising the question of all spirits' creative or productive powers. Lombard quoted directly from Augustine in his own section on the powers of the demons, and in his own Commentary on the Sentences, Bonaventure similarly follows Lombard and Augustine on the capacities of the angels to "create."26 The angels and demons can create an object to the extent that a human can craft a piece of pottery. The potter "creates" an object in that he



has brought a new thing out of an existing thing, but he has not created an object ex nihilo. Neither angel nor human can accomplish such a feat.27 In another line of inquiry, particularly prominent at Oxford, debates over the generation of the souls of animals and generation by putrefaction raised similar questions about the agency of angels in the processes of creation.28 Because the motions of the heavenly spheres, particularly the sun and moon, were seen as the causes of the production of new nonhuman lives (human souls were created by God directly), and because philosophical and theological opinion recognized the possibility that "intelligences" or angels were responsible for the motions of the spheres, the powers of angels to "create" through their celestial orbs was also explored. Peter Lombard argued simply that maggots, which, it was thought, were created spontaneously out of dead bodies, had, in fact, already been created potentialiter by God before any creatures actually died. But the thirteenth century faced the problem of angelic creativity through the spheres with greater intensity because of the interest of Aristotle and his pagan commentators in the relationships between intelligences, heavenly motion, and their effects on terrestrial existence. Indeed, in 1271 the minister general of the Dominicans specifically requested his leading theologians to consider a number of questions in this area. For Aquinas, angels certainly moved the spheres (here he disagreed with Aristotle who believed that conjoined souls had such a responsibility), and the motions of the spheres and the sun's rays do produce life on earth. Hence, angels are involved in the processes of natural creation (here he disagreed with Albertus Magnus, who did not ascribe to angels the responsibility of heavenly motion even though he did ascribe such motion to intellectual, spiritual movers). Such creative powers, however, are part of God's providential ordering of nature, not an example of creation ex nihilo. Theologians and astronomers of the later Middle Ages eventually followed the lead of some thirteenth-century theologians such as John Blund and Robert Kilwardby in saying that the motions of the heavens are to be explained by their natural or innate tendencies, thereby removing angels from the discussion altogether.29 The relationship between demons, angels, and creative power had also been an issue in a different ecclesiastical context. In the twelfth and early thirteenth centuries, the doctrine that God was the sole creator of all things was rejected by the Cathar heretics who preached that Satan was the uncreated source of evil and the creator of the material universe. Humans were angels imprisoned in bodies and in need of liberation from the flesh and its attachments. The Fourth Lateran Council addressed the problem of the Cathars and responded by strengthening Nicea's declaration of God as sole creator. Similarly, the Condemnations of 1277 (to be discussed in the conclusion of part II) attacked heterodox arguments about the creation and creative power of the angels. By engaging heretics, or responding to Aristotelian philosophy or a line of textual commentary dating back to Augustine, theologians would weave these three subjects—angels, demons, and creation— together.30 For different reasons, the creative powers of angels, both glorified and wicked, remained a potent issue throughout the Middle Ages. The affirmation that God had created the angels raised several more questions. Where, if anywhere, did He create the angels? Are the spiritual angels subject to



time and change as physical bodies are? Did God create the evil angels? Why did they turn from God? Did time elapse between their creation and their fall? Why did the persevering angels not fall? Medieval theologians explored these questions in great depth in occasional treatises (such as Anselm of Canterbury's De Casu Diaboli), textbooks, commentaries on the Sentences, and in numerous Summae Theologiae.. There is no need to investigate these matters in as exacting a detail as the scholastics did. However, it is important to present some of their conclusions and see why these issues were so crucial. Following what became the consensus in the twelfth century, Bonaventure states that at the first moment of creation, God made the empyrean heaven (which is above the celestial orbs that circle the earth), the angels (created in the empyrean), matter, and time itself.31 Bonaventure 's explanation of the nature of the empyrean draws on his understanding of God's perfect creation, physics, and soteriology. The stable empyrean completes the universe, helps to explain the motion of the planets and stars, and provides a place for angels and saints to dwell. From the empyrean, the angels descend to earth to exercise their missions to humans; from the empyrean, the noblest place of all creation, the angels can contemplate the divine most readily. The angelic nature, being noncorporeal, does not require being in a place, but Bonaventure states that being in a spatial place gives the angels proper order with respect to themselves and the rest of the creation. The angels exist in a place not out of necessity but out of congruence with God's ordering of the cosmos. Thus the angels could have been created before the corporeal universe. Augustine had recognized that it was possible to argue both that the angels had been created before the cosmos and that the angels were created at the same time as the cosmos. For him, however, as with Bonaventure and Aquinas, the essential point remained that in either case the angels were not at all to be seen as coeternal with God.32 Throughout all of these reflections on spiritual beings, orthodox theologians fervently maintained the distinctions between angels and their Creator. As created beings, the angels are not eternal. However, as spirits who are not subject to the vicissitudes of time and temporality as corporeal creatures are, they are not really temporal. What time-related category, therefore, is proper for the angels? The term adopted by thirteenth-century theologians to describe the duration of angels was aeviternity. While they disagreed on what exactly this concept meant, theologians agreed that it was a way of describing the angelic mode of existence to make it distinct from God and His eternity and the material creation and its temporality. Moreover, the concept of aeviternity allowed theologians to conceive of certain changes in noncorporeal creatures such as an increase in joy and knowledge. This was a subject that had occupied many twelfth-century theologians such as the author of the Summa Sententiarum and Peter Lombard. For Bonaventure, eternity has neither a beginning nor an end; aeviternity has a beginning and an after without variations; and time has a beginning and end with variations. By contrast, Aquinas did not feel that this idea of aeviternity was adequate, as he felt Bonaventure's view did not properly account for the changes in location and will that angels undergo. 33The concept of aeviternity, however understood, allowed theologians to imagine spirits who are quite Godlike but are not as perfect as God. As spirits they are not corruptible as humans are, but they are not God Himself.



The fall of Satan and his minions was another particularly important topic, because it focused theological reflection on the relationships between God's Providence, rational free will, love, faithfulness, and sin. If Scripture was reticent to speak on the creation of the angels, medieval readers discovered in Genesis and elsewhere texts that revealed the story of the fall of the evil angels and the confirmation of the good angels. Genesis 1:4 states, "God separated the light from the darkness." 2 Peter 2:4 reveals that "God did not spare the angels when they sinned, but cast them into hell and committed them to pits of nether gloom to be kept until the judgment." The early Fathers were uncertain as to exactly when the angelic sin took place and what its precise nature was. Two things were clear, however: that God did create the demons and that He did not create them evil. God created all things visible and invisible, and He created all things good. As Bonaventure notes, to assert that God created the fallen angels evil would be heretical (such a view apparently circulated in some form; in 1240, the bishop of Paris had condemned the view that the demons were evil from their creation).34 According to early interpretations of Genesis 6:2-4, the sin of the angels consisted in sexual relations: "The sons of God saw that the daughters of men were fair; and they took to wife such of them as they chose" (thus producing the Nephilim, a race of giants). Medieval exegetes, seeking to learn about the capacities of the demons, discovered in Genesis 6 the confirmation of their suspicions that demons could have sexual intercourse with women.35 The problem with this interpretation lay with the fact that somehow Lucifer (and presumably his followers) had fallen before Adam and Eve. Hence, ultimately Augustine, in this case following Origen, would articulate what would become the consensus view, namely that the angels fell through pride before the creation of the world. As Bonaventure presents the sequence of the angels' fall, a very, very small space of time (a morula) after their creation, some of the angels fell away from God.36 (Medieval dramas such as the York Cycle's "Creation, and the Fall of Lucifer" presented these events in a narrative form, giving Lucifer a monologue and the good angels the opportunities for singing the Te Deum and the Sanctus.) The Seraphic Doctor in Augustinian fashion affirms that pride (superbia) was the original sin of Satan and his followers. They desired to be equal to God. They fell into the middle air between heaven and earth, and from there, they descended to Hell to torture the souls of the damned. Those angels who did not fall, instead turned toward God and were forever confirmed in their glory by the grace of God. The angels were confirmed in their original hierarchies (which had been established by nature and were now made permanent by God's gift). Because the nature of the angelic intellect and will is such that their first free choice would determine forever their orientation toward good or evil, the evil angels are incapable of being redeemed. The free will of the good angels is completed and perfected by their confirmation by grace, as they have been transformed from a state of sinlessness to a state of perfection. Both types of angel had sufficient knowledge of their alternatives at the moment of their decision (thus, their freedom, knowledge, and responsibility are inseparable and sufficient), but through their own will and pride, the demons fell. On many of these issues, Bonaventure's views are typical, and even where he



disagrees with his fellow theologians, they share the same range of questions. In the twelfth century, the school of Laon and Peter of Poitiers, for example, argued that the angels were created in their nine orders. By contrast, Peter Lombard argues that while the angels at the moment of creation were unequal in their will and wisdom, they were only established in the hierarchies through their confirmation by God's grace. The author of the Summa Sententiarum is unusual in stating that the demons are not ranked hierarchically. (Likewise, at the turn of the eleventh century, Aelfric the Grammarian expressed the uncommon opinion that the demons were from a tenth order of angels ranked below the nine orders which remained.) The complete agreement among orthodox theologians that the demons were incapable of redemption could derive from common opposition to Origen, from anti-Cathar arguments, or both. Because of these challenges, theologians needed a firm basis for rejecting their opponents' views, and several different arguments were advanced for defending the same position. The demons cannot be redeemed either because of the withdrawal of God's grace (Peter Lombard); or the fact that since each angel is an individual genus, there is no common angelic nature that Christ could assume to redeem as he had done for humanity (Anselm of Laon); or the lack of external temptation, a sufficiently mitigating factor in the case of humanity (the school of Laon); or simply the sufficiency of angelic knowledge (Aquinas and Bonaventure). Similarly, as many of the scholastics were interested in the ethical lives of the angels, they explored the nature of the angels' confirmation, some arguing that confirmed angels are strictly speaking unable to sin, while others argue that because angels have no desire or inclination to sin, effectively they will never sin.37 The fall of Satan himself was an important topic that admitted different concerns and applications. Anselm of Canterbury devotes an entire treatise to the subject, De Casu Diaboli. Aquinas develops an understanding of the supremacy of love over knowledge when he considers whether Satan was originally a cherub (who are, as shall be seen in the chapter 3, characterized by their knowledge) or a seraph (who are characterized by their burning love of God). Even cherubic knowledge of God is compatible with mortal sin, but if one burns with seraphic love, mortal sin becomes impossible. At the same time, Aquinas argues that the "more probable view" is that Satan was the highest of the angels because the sin of pride is more likely to strike the most exalted of creatures. While this would seem to make Satan a seraph (since the seraphim are the highest order), Aquinas adheres to the logic of the incompatibilty of seraphic love and mortal sin and states that Satan "is called" a cherub (a twist which also allows Aquinas to remain faithful to Ezekiel 28:14, which suggests that Satan was a cherub). While other scholastics such as Robert Pullen also had a difficult time deciding from which order Satan fell, Dante clearly presents him as a parody of a seraph in the final canto of the Inferno. The rebellion of the Devil had the potential for political applications as well. Pope Gregory VII is able to cite Gregory I and argue that for a ruler to exalt himself above others is to commit Satan's sin. Such a prince would make himself like one of the angelic apostates (Gregory VII had his rival Henry IV in mind).38 Similarly, the doctrine of the confirmation of the good angels was not merely a



matter of theological refinement of the mechanics and timing of creation. Rather, angels were useful as guardians and spiritual assistants precisely because they could not (or would not) sin. Sinful people need guardians who cannot err. Gregory the Great, calling for moral improvement, states that the angels remaining in heaven are more humble, and therefore are more firm. In three sermons delivered on the Feast of Saint Michael, Hugh of Saint Victor encourages Christians in their fight against the snares of the demons. Because the angels guard them, Christians need not be frightened or overwhelmed: "Let us struggle faithfully; let us not fear."39 The doctrine of the confirmation of the good angels was so important for the devotional utility of the angels that Protestant theologians accepted the doctrine from their medieval precursors despite the fact that an explicit biblical warrant was lacking. Thus Luther, following the Roman Breviary includes a prayer for the protection of God's "holy angel" in his Small Catechism's morning and evening prayers so that evil might be powerless against the petitioner.40 A revealing debate about the fall of the wicked angels centered on the question of whether the fallen angels had enjoyed any of God's grace. Thirteenth-century scholastics essentially agreed to disagree. Bonaventure, his mentor Alexander of Hales, and Hugh of Saint Victor argued that the angels were not created with the superadded gift of grace. Aquinas (and Peter Lombard, Stephen Langton, and others) argued that angels were created with grace, and he supported it with his own understanding of the relationship between nature and grace, arguing, as he must, that this grace given to the demons was resisted or at least not utilized. Bonaventure affirms that both views are possible, but he (as does Aquinas) states that the view he chooses is "more probable." It is not possible to fully explore this debate here, but it is important to note that as thirteenth-century theologians examined the mechanics of the creation, fall, and confirmation of the angels, they approached their material with a certain reserve. They were aware that their investigations could only proceed so far, but within those limits they attempted to explore these matters as fully as possible.41 Although the scholastics' understanding of nature and grace and of angelic sin and perseverance prevented them from considering the possibility of morally neutral angels, Dante includes the neutral angels in the Vestibule of the Inferno, a region reserved for those who are neither good nor evil in their commitments. In canto III, Dante passes those angels who rejected both God and Satan and their human counterparts as they wail and endlessly pursue a whirling standard. His brief glance at them indicates his disdain. These are creatures who are so directionless as to be unworthy even of condemnation. The tradition of these spirits dates back to Clement of Alexandria, and was transmitted to the Middle Ages through some editions of Brendan's voyages and Wolfram von Eschenbach's Parzivol. This nonscholastic tradition at once acknowledged the possibility of pure neutrality and condemned it severely.42 The fall of the evil angels had important implications for humanity. Their rebellion and punishment left their heavenly thrones vacant, and according to most theologians, God ordained matters so that the saints would come to fill these blessed seats. Had not Jesus promised that men and women will be "like angels in heaven" (Matt. 22:30)? As angels fell from each of the orders (except possibly the



seraphim), so too will the saints, according to their diverse merits, fill the vacancies in each of the orders of angels. (Albertus Magnus was an exception—he argued that the natural distinction of men and angels will always remain).43 Thus as Bonaventure presents the life of Francis as the model for human sanctity, he describes a vision in which Francis will occupy a celestial seat once occupied by an angel, a seat decorated with valuable stones and radiating glory.44 Theologians did disagree about whether all humans would join the angels or whether most would be worthy only of constituting a tenth order of saints (below the nine orders of angels and their replacement saints). Aquinas argued that such a two-tiered arrangement would violate Augustine's statement that the heavenly society of saints and angels will be one; Bonaventure preferred to let the angels excel in dignity. Theologians also disagreed on whether humanity was created specifically to fill the seats (as Augustine and Boethius had argued) or for other reasons, such as loving and serving God and the joys of glorification (the more common view). Regardless of which beliefs were advocated, the beatification of the saints of medieval Christendom would help restore the damage done to the creation by the fall of the evil angels at the beginning of time. Indeed, for Anselm of Canterbury, the fall of the angels had left such a radical imperfection in the originally perfect cosmos that the creation would have to wait until the end of time for its proper restoration. And it is hardly surprising that in a sermon on Luke 15:10, Bonaventure sees in the rejoicing of the angels over the repentance of sinners a sign that the salvation of sinners helps restore the angelic hierarchies.45 In In medieval readings of the first period in the history of creation and salva^S^tion, then, Christians discovered that God created the angels at the beginning of time in the empyrean heaven and that they do not share the divine creative powers. Angels are neither temporal or eternal but aeviternal. Finally, the evil angels who fell through the sin of pride immediately after their creation are incapable of being saved, and likewise the good angels have been confirmed in their glory by God's grace. As sacred history unfolds, the angels and the demons will struggle ceaselessly for the salvation or damnation of humanity.


w •o

The Length of Scripture 2 Angels, Israel, and the Church

Angels and Humans Before the Presentation of the Law: Appearance and Iconography, Bodies, Personhood, and Number The first literal biblical reference to angels of any kind declares the presence of angels at the casting of Adam and Eve from the Garden: God "drove out the man; and at the east of the garden of Eden he placed the cherubim, and a flaming sword which turned every way, to guard the way to the tree of life" (Gen. 3:24). The angels symbolize the impossibility of man's unaided return to his state of innocence, his state of original purity. This image of angels who prevent the sinful from entering a sacred place provides the typological basis for a story about Saint Mary of Egypt. As a capital from the Cloister of Saint-Etienne de Toulouse depicts the scene, an angel with a sword keeps the still-sinful Mary from entering the Church of the Holy Sepulchre. Here as elsewhere, the angels of Scripture provide images, models, and examples for the stories of the saints that constitute the history of the restoration of humanity. While the early creation account and the theological explication of the creation of the angels was an essential ingredient of scholastic theology, the stories of the encounters between the patriarchs and the angels were extremely important because they established the typologies for beliefs about angels espoused by both scholastics and common folk. While these cherubim of Genesis 3:24 stood watch outside the gates of Paradise, other angels would play important roles in the restoration of human beings to the celestial Paradise. After God expelled Adam and Eve from Eden, angels began serving as messengers of God to humanity (both the Hebrew mal'akh and the Greek aggelos mean literally "messenger"). Prior to the revelation of the Law to Moses, angels constituted one of the most important means of communication from God to His chosen people. Indeed, the most important of the patriarchs, Abraham, had numerous encounters with angels, and these encounters became normative for determining Christian understandings of angels, angelic attributes, and proper devotional responses. Richard of Saint Victor explores Abraham's responses to the 28



appearance of the angels in Genesis 18 as a way of understanding the proper path of contemplation. Similarly, because Franciscans such as Bonaventure and Salimbene de Adam understood themselves in terms of angels, these angelophanies provided them with typologies for conceiving of their mission as God's ministers. As an angel bestowed upon Jacob the title of Israel (Gen. 32:28), so did the angels continue to interact with Israel and also the new Israel, the church of Christ. Indeed, in the case of Elisabeth of Schonau, the same angel with whom Jacob wrestled also became the familiar messenger of her visions.1 The message of such scriptural angelophanies, most broadly conceived, is this: God continues to love His creatures even after the Fall and even after the recurring sins of the chosen people. Angels aid the people of God spiritually and physically. Hence, Radulph Ardens's invocation in the early twelfth century for angelic aid in his conclusion to a sermon delivered on Saint Michael was not unusual in the Middle Ages. Theologians and exegetes in many different contexts recognized their responsibility to transmit their understanding and to exhort their fellow Christians to appreciate and love the angels who have ministered to men and women from the beginning of history. Bonaventure declares in his Commentary on the Sentences that "it must be said that without a doubt the beatified angels are sent to us by God."2 The ministries that begin in the early passages of Genesis are thus fully a part of the medieval world. Medieval art reinforced this fundamental scriptural message. In stone, glass, and painting, Christians of all sorts saw depictions of narratives that contain angels appearing to men and women (such as the familiar story of Abraham and Isaac, Gen. 22:1—19, in which an angel stays the hand of the patriarch). Gregory the Great's Dialogues, his stories of the Italian saints who lived during the end of the patristic era, transmitted even more narratives of the interaction between the saints and the angels. Bonaventure himself saw an angel (as did many other medieval saints), and his order's founder, Saint Francis, had a most wondrous encounter with a seraphic being.3 From the earliest Fathers through the Middle Ages and into the Reformation, the encounters between angels and men in Scripture raised many questions in the mind of Christian theologians. The great investigations of the thirteenth-century scholastics into the nature and character of the angels come from the encounters between Abraham, Jacob, and others and the angels. What do angels look like? Do they have bodies? How would medieval Christians have imagined an angel? Do they have personalities or emotions? How many of these creatures are there? In the Middle Ages, both Scripture and iconographic traditions provided the clues for answering such questions. In Scripture, angels usually appear as some sort of men. (Curious creatures, such as the chariots and wheels which appear in Ezekiel, were read only figuratively as angels.) At the age of ninety-nine, Abraham saw three men whom he recognized as angels when they visited him at the oaks of Mamre (Gen. 18; see figures 1 and 2). The Marys at the tomb of Christ also recognized the angel at the Sepulchre as a heavenly being. However, often the identity of God's messengers is unclear. Balaam fails to see the invisible angel that prevents his ass from moving until "the Lord opened [his] eyes" (Num. 22:31). And in the Book of Tobit, Tobias is completely unaware that his companion Raphael is an angel until after their



voyage together, Hebrews 13:2 warns Christians to be hospitable to strangers because "some have entertained angels unawares." The the tomb recognized the special qualities of the angel because "[h]is appearance was like lightning and his raiment white as snow" (Matt. 28:3). On the whole, however, Scripture provides few details of what angels look like. Indeed, in Mark's account of the visit to the tomb, the angel appears simply as a young man dressed in a white robe (Mark 16:5). Other descriptions of angels are more specific: The seraphim have six wings (Is. 6), the cherubim are also winged (Eze. 10), and an angel in the Apocalypse has "legs like pillars of fire" (Apoc. 10:1). But the angels' preferred mode of appearance seems to be that of men. Angels appear to wash their feet and eat (Gen. 18:4-8), and, so it is said, the men of Sodom found the angels sexually attractive (Gen. 19:1-11). This encounter between the Sodomites and the angels illustrates the great potential for diverse applications of the biblical narratives in later centuries; as will be seen in chapter 6, Peter Damian's antihomosexual tract, the Liber Gomorrhianus, draws heavily on Genesis 19 and other angelological passages. The illiterate person's image of how an angel might appear would have been molded less by the words of Scripture directly than by the art and architecture of medieval Europe. The second Council of Nicea, meeting in 787 to end the iconoclastic controversy in favor of the veneration of images, had addressed the question whether angels can be represented in art. They responded that since angels were finite in their form, and since Scripture revealed that angels appear as men, then artists were to portray angels. Although this council formally legitimated the depiction of angels, Christians had seen angels in art for centuries. Initially represented as young people without wings, angels began to have wings after the conversion of Constantine.4 As classical art and images began to exert an even greater influence on Christian art, Christian artists used the Greco-Roman figure of Nike, the winged goddess of victory as a model for their angels. The wingless angel of the tomb of Christ, for example, soon came to have wings; the description of the winged seraphim and cherubim superseded the literal gospel account. As an iconographic tradition, wings were a useful means of distinguishing angels from saints or other humans. (The angular shape of the wings also made their form appealing to artists seeking a subject to decorate spandrels in arched galleries.) Another guideline for the depictions of angels in the Gothic period concerned footwear. The Son, angels, and apostles would be distinguished by their bare feet, whereas the saints traditionally would have some sort of shoe or sandal. Further, in the thirteenth century, angels, like women, regularly had small chins. These principles, like most artistic principles, were not universal. A perusal of the images preserved in the Index of Christian Art at Princeton University illustrates the diversity of angelic iconography. Some angels, for example, were depicted with beards; some had wings, others did not. Depictions of the angels who appeared to Abraham sometimes followed the Genesis account, which says nothing of wings. The Book of Tobit also does not mention wings, but some portrayals of Tobias and Raphael include the angel's wings. Thirteenth-century France witnessed the first "smiling angels" (suggesting a kinder, gentler angel than the Romanesque angels of judgment and punishment), and in the following century,



German and French artists began to depict angels as children. Chaucer humorously evokes the red faces of the cherubim of his day when he describes the pimpled face of the Summoner in the Prologue to The Canterbury Tales as being on fire like the cherubim's faces. The familiar bodiless cherubim who have only infantile heads and wings appear in the fifteenth century. As ideas about God, sin, salvation, and religious practices changed, so did the depictions of the angels in medieval art. Because ideas about angels remain subordinate to beliefs about the fundamental relationship between God and humans, transformations of images of angels are dependent on this primary relationship. Nevertheless, while the art produced during a particular period embodied characteristics particular to that period, the buildings, sculpture, and glass of earlier periods often remained in later periods, creating a diverse world of images. Thus, Romanesque images of harsh, castigating angels at the Last Judgment coexited with the more varied depictions of angels in later eras. The depiction of angels depended to a large extent on the importance and popularity of stories that involved angels as well as the roles of angels in liturgies. Because angels appear in the sacrifice of Isaac, the dream of Jacob's ladder, the struggle between Lucifer and Michael, the expulsion of Adam and Eve, the Annunciation, and the Last Judgment, and because these stories were important for medieval Christian thought and practice, angels appeared frequently in art and drama. As shall be seen in part IV of this study, there were particular ways of representing angels and angelic ministries on stage; usually boys were chosen to play angels. The second major occasion for angelic iconography was liturgical. As shall be seen throughout this study, angels were prominent in several liturgical functions—they are co-worshippers with humanity, they present prayers to God, they incense the heavenly altar, they present relics in reliquaries. Consequently, angels with thuribles, angels singing the Sanctus, and, more commonly beginning in the thirteenth century, angels bearing musical instruments appear frequently in medieval art. Because of the plethora of representations common in the period, angels quite literally filled the medieval world. While Scripture states that angels appear as men, Scripture also states that angels are also spiritus (Heb. 1:14). Do the angels who appear as some form of man actually have bodies and eat, or do they assume bodies temporarily, or do they simply generate phantasms? While the authors of Genesis may not have had answers to these questions in mind, Christian theologians from the early days of the church speculated on these matters and differed significantly in their conclusions. Most of the early Fathers argued that the angels did have some form of natural body, ethereal or fiery. Pseudo-Dionysius seems to have been the first Christian to have argued for the pure spirituality of the angels (Jewish traditions around the time of Christ asserted this same belief).5 The debate about the corporeality or noncorporeality persisted into the thirteenth century. By that time, the point of contention had changed from corporeality to materiality, for by the thirteenth century and the ascendancy of the recovered Pseudo-Dionysius, angels were seen as strictly incorporeal. The theologians of the thirteenth century employed Aristotelian categories and terms to explore the natural "substance" of the angels. Thus they used the category of "matter," not corporeality, to explore the angelic



nature. As will be discussed in chapter 5, Aquinas and most of the Dominicans agreed with Pseudo-Dionysius that angels are pure spirits, or forms, whereas Bonaventure and almost all of the Franciscans followed strict Aristotelian hylomorphism and argued that angels are made of both form and some kind of matter (albeit a spiritual matter). Regardless of the philosophy, physics, and metaphysics of the question of the essential "body" or "matter" of the angels, Scripture revealed clearly that angels appear as men. Were these bodies apparitions, phantasms, real bodies assumed by angels, real bodies created by angels, or even something else? Further, if an angel did not have a natural human body, would the body it assumed exercise the normal functions of a natural body? Throughout the considerations of these topics by the scholastics, the Genesis narratives, the philosophical categories of Aristotle, and the interpretations of the Fathers were woven together. Twelfth-century monastic readers, such as Bernard of Clairvaux, would not have included Aristotle in their angelic tapestry, but for them the biblical accounts and the patristic readings were still mingled with less philosophically refined reflections on nature and biology. The Seraphic Doctor devoted six questions on the Commentary on the Sen' tences to the problems surrounding the angelic bodies. His conclusions are, for the most part, in agreement with those of other thinkers.6 Such beliefs about these bodies constitute an important part of angelology, and it is important to note the ways in which these rather theoretical questions fit in with the medieval angelological agenda as a whole. Bonaventure states that angels do not have natural bodies, although they may assume them. Angels do indeed assume these bodies not because they need to for their own sakes, but so that they can more properly and efficiently communicate and minister to men and women. When he then considers whether the body an angel assumes is a real body (expressed in metaphysical terms, the "form of a human body" and biological terms "the complexity and complete organization of a human body"), he answers that angelic bodies are not true bodies but effigies. For angels to create real human bodies would violate not only the divine economy but also the laws of nature. Bodies arrive by generation and maturation not by spontaneous angelic creation. The next question then becomes what these bodies might be made of. He replies that the angels assume their bodies primarily from the air but also from other elements that are mixed in. This solution, which Bonaventure prefers to the belief that angelic bodies are made of roughly equal mixtures of elements and to another view that these bodies are made solely of air, suggests to him the proper combination of tangible and ethereal characteristics that angels seem to have. He remains open to further suggestion, although he is prepared to defend his answer: "For the present, we are able to sustain this position." While Bonaventure examines these questions with a rigorous analysis, he is prepared to leave some answers indefinite. The question of the composition of angelic bodies is to him, therefore, a question of significance but not a question he must answer absolutely. Another pressing question concerning the angelic bodies is whether the bodies are capable of exercising "vegetative operations." Are the angels when they are in their assumed bodies, for example, capable of eating or reproducing? Bonaventure



cites the story from Genesis 6, the begetting of the giants, and he also refers to the popular story of the demonic parenthood of Merlin. It would seem that it is possible for spirits, in these cases, fallen angels, to procreate with humans. (Boccaccio records the story of one rather gullible woman who believed that the archangel Gabriel was able to copulate with her.)7 Bonaventure argues, however, that spirits are unable to create humans biologically. Demons beget children by assuming the form of a woman, having sexual intercourse with a man, preserving his semen, assuming the form of a man, and depositing the now-demonic semen into a woman. (Thus the demons were the first to perform artificial insemination.) Similarly, the good angels do not actually eat food. They do consume victuals in some sense, but Bonaventure suggests enigmatically that this is for the benefit of humans. The Seraphic Doctor stresses that the angels do not deceive humans when they appear to have bodies and exercise functions such as eating. Angels are revealers not deceivers. Finally, he asks whether the angels exercise any sensory or motor functions when they assume their bodies. Bonaventure states that they do exercise motor functions to move the bodies themselves, but the angels themselves do not receive sensory input from the organs of the bodies. (This naturally raises the question of angelic epistemology, a subject for chapter 5.) If angels could resemble humans in body, could they also share with humans the quality of personhood? In other words, do angels themselves have distinct persons? While the narratives in earlier books of Scripture portray them as somewhat cold, impassive extensions of the deity, other texts reveal that they are capable of emotions and of individual knowledge. In Genesis 32:29, the angel who wrestles with Jacob refuses to give his name, and the angel who foretells of Samson's birth and mission refuses to give Manoah and his wife his name because it is mirabile (Jud. 13:18). These angels have little or no personality and are hardly more than manifestations of the deity. Yet Daniel's interaction with angels, statements about Michael's special roles, Tobias's journey with Raphael, and Luke's narrative about Gabriel and the Annunciation offer more personalized images of angels. Medieval writings on angels and iconography combine both aspects of the angels. The smiling angels in sculpture suggest a possible intimacy, whereas the tympana of the Last Judgment and of angels casting the wicked into eternal flames connote impersonal spirits, more divine agents than personal angels. At times Bonaventure speaks of the possibility of personal relationships with angels (especially as he describes Francis's devotion to the angels), and at other times angels are seen as pure abstract deductions, the products of synthesizing scriptural data with Aristotelian and Augustinian principles. As Bonaventure's angelology unfolds, it becomes clear that the abstract beings of Genesis are more compatible with his Aristotelian principles, and the personal beings of later biblical texts are closer to his Augustinian and devotional principles and beliefs.8 Nev ertheless, for clerics such as Hugh of Saint Victor or Bonaventure, who were dedicated both to speculation and spiritual formation, philosophical or metaphysical questions and devotional or religious questions cannot be divorced. Thus, the Seraphic Doctor, who drew on Hugh, identifies the religious correlates to the philosophical principles of angelic attributes such as personality.



We must know that, at the very instant of their creation, the angels were endowed with four perfections: simplicity of essence; individuality of person; rationality . . . and freedom of choice. . . . These four main attributes are accompanied by four others: virtuosity in action, dedication in service, acuteness in understanding, and immutability in the choice of either good or evil.9

Through the metaphysically and philosophically interpreted nature of the angels, Bonaventure firmly states that the angels perfectly perform their ministrations. Because of their nature, the angels are worthy of being trusted by the humans who seek their aid. As personal creatures and as rational creatures created in the image of the Trinity, angels also have, to follow Augustine's On the Trinity, the rational functions of memory, intelligence, and will, i Peter 1:12 confirms that angels are entities capable of knowing, though this issue was never in doubt. As Bonaventure interprets and employs this passage, the angels represent creatures who seem to be pure thought and contemplation, able to appreciate ceaselessly the fount of all knowledge and goodness.10 Luke 15:10 reveals that angels rejoice at the conversion of a great sinner. Therefore, as will be discussed in greater detail in chapter 5, angels do experience emotions, particularly happiness and joy. Isaiah 33:7 portrays the angels weeping, yet as an interpretation of this passage by Aquinas suggests, most medieval theologians considered it inconceivable for the angels to experience sadness. Because the angels are so close to the Godhead, it is impossible for anything to cause them sorrow.11 In the Christian tradition, the one possible exception to this principle was the Passion and Crucifixion. As Giotto's famous painting of laying Christ in the tomb suggests, it was imagined that the angels wept most bitterly at the death of the Son. The angels of God are numerous and constantly assisting men and women. In Genesis 32:1—2 the angels of God greet Jacob before his potentially dangerous return to his brother, Esau. Bonaventure discovers from this passage that the faithful should not be the fearful: "For we have the Lord and angels about us."12 But how many angels are there? Did medieval Christians imagine a small or a large number of spirits inhabiting their own world? As they read the rest of Scripture, they discovered important clues about the number of God's angels. Jesus declares that should He pray to the Father, He would receive "more than twelve legions of angels" (Matt. 26:53). Hebrews 12:22 states that the company of angels is "innumerable," and Apocalypse 5:11 numbers the angels in the "thousands of thousands." Hence Christians imagined a universe that contains a vast number of angels. For different reasons, various theologians argued that the precise number remains incalculable (some, such as Hugh of Saint Victor, would argue that the number of angels and demons equals the number of people whom the spirits protect or tempt).13 For Giles of Rome, Bonaventure, and other scholastics, the issue of the number of angels was important because of the teachings of the pagan philosophers and their commentators. Aristotle and his followers had erred in limiting the number of the intelligences to the number of the celestial bodies, spheres or orbs. Thus, Aristotle and Avicenna had estimated the number of intelligences to be about forty and Algazel had stated that there were ten intelligences. Most



Christian theologians prior to the later Middle Ages agreed that the angels moved the heavens, but held it erroneous to move from such a fact to a calculation of the precise number of spirits. For them, such philosophical speculations contradicted the revelation of Scripture. For Aquinas, the issue hinged upon the fact that spiritual creatures are superior by nature to corporeal creatures. Hence, there must be more angels than there are corporeal beings, and the incalculable numbers of Scripture are to be understood thus. Hugh of Saint Victor explicates and follows Pseudo-Dionysius's reasoning: The wondrous angels are innumerable because their number exceeds the limited concepts of physical numbers and the rather feeble human intellect. For different reasons and in different contexts, these theologians agreed on the innumerability of the angels. As with many other beliefs about angels, the formal proposition is identical, but the arguments surrounding it and the use of the teaching vary. Finally, another very important angelological question from the early passages of Genesis was the question of the precise identity of some of the angels of the Old Testament, particularly the figure referred to as the Angel of the Lord. Many beliefs about who and/or what was God and who and/or what was His angel were possible because of the different titles or beings that seemed to be involved in the interaction between the divine and the human. According to Genesis 18, God Himself directly established His covenant of circumcision with Abraham. In 15:1, the Word of the Lord (sermo Domini) appears to Abraham in a vision. At the climax of his great test of faith, the sacrifice of Isaac, an angel prevents Abraham from slaying the boy. Abraham's communications from heaven thus take several forms, and hence, differing interpretations of the relationship between God, Christ, the Holy Spirit, and the angels of the Genesis stories of Abraham and other patriarchs existed. In the early church, it became an essential ingredient of anti-Jewish polemics to read the Angel of the Lord in these stories and others as the Second Person of the Trinity.14 If Christ was indeed the Angel of the Lord, then indeed He was not merely a prophet or a wise rabbi, rather He was divine. (Philo himself had argued that this Angel of the Lord was indeed the divine Logos.) Some Jewish apocalyptic writers had argued that the Messiah who was to come had appeared previously as some sort of angel. The church was arguing that this Messiah had in fact already appeared. In his Dialogue with Trypho (a dialogue with a Jew), Justin Martyr bases his interpretation of Christ as "angel" on the visitation of the three "angels" to Abraham at the oaks of Mamre in Genesis 18. For Justin, Christ is God, but is also an aggelos, a messenger. Tertullian provided perhaps the most curious readings of Old Testament angels as Christ—he argued that the appearances of these beings were in fact instances of the preincarnate Logos learning how to use a body.15 As the Fathers struggled to win converts and establish the religion of the Nazarene, the coopting of the Genesis stories through a Christological reading of angels, the Angel of the Lord in particular, became useful. While the later church was less concerned with converting Jews (Peter the Venerable appears to have been unusual in the Middle Ages for deploying certain aspects of angelology in a specifically anti-Judaism tract), it had become a commonplace of exegesis to read Christ for the Angel of the Lord.16



Similarly, other appearances of angels in the Old Testament admitted nonangelic interpretation. While Bonaventure is not writing against the Jews, he does follow Augustine and other patristic readings in seeing the Son and Holy Spirit in the two angels who appeared to Lot in Sodom (Gen 19: 1—29). These two angels were part of the group of three men (tres viri) who appeared to Abraham by the oaks of Mamre (who together, therefore represent the Trinity). Anagogically, the two angels represent the Second and Third Persons, "who are sent by the Father" (the Father remained with Abraham).17 The anagogical reading of Scripture creates for Bonaventure a different ontological status for the angels of Genesis 18 and 19. Literally they remain angels, but on the level of "things above" they become Persons of the Trinity. As shall be seen in greater detail in the next chapter, the fourfold scheme of exegesis creates several different readings for "angel." More importantly for medieval readings of the Angel of the Lord, patristic readings, while they may have been originally set in the context of anti-Jewish polemics, were to become commonplace medieval readings of Scripture apart from any specific polemic. The conservatism of medieval angelological exegesis could preserve a particular reading by separating it from its original purpose. These then constitute the basic characteristics of angels as revealed in Scripture. The spirits of heaven often appear as some form of men, generally beardless, perhaps with wings and perhaps being luminous. The bodies in which they appear are not natural bodies, rather the angels fabricate them from the air and other elements. The angels are capable of intellectual operations and have the capacity for joy and love. Finally, there are an incalculable number of angels. As they continued to minister to men and women through the history of Israel and the church, more of their features became apparent, and indeed their important roles in the drama of salvation became clear. Angels, the Law, and Israel: Worshippers, Guardians, Punishers In an effort to distinguish between the revelation of Christ's new covenant and the old covenant of Moses, the earliest Christians emphasized their belief that angels delivered the Law to Moses.18 Acts 7:30 and 38 identify the flame of the burning bush of Mt. Sinai as an angel. And in verse 53, medieval clerics would have read that angels presented the Law to Moses and Israel. Further, they discovered that in addition to a similar message in Hebrews 2:2, Galatians 3:19 states the Law was "ordained by angels." As the Law prepared God's people for the Gospel, so too did the angels serve to prepare men and women for Christ. For Christians, the ministry of the angels in the age of the Law was a ministry of preparation for grace as well as a ministry of guidance. This era comprised most of the Old Testament's history of Israel, and in this period of time, the angels exercised important functions for the people of God. Jewish beliefs at the time of Christ also affirmed that angels delivered the Law. But in the early church distinguishing between Christ, the one true mediator, and the angels, the lesser intermediaries between God and humanity, was crucial. In Galatians, for example, Paul stresses the importance of the Law at the same time



as he stresses its ultimate insufficiency. Bonaventure was not involved with the polemics against the Jews on the question of the identity of Christ, but his writings reveal the continuing medieval interest in discussing the role of the angels in the transmission of the Law as well as the importance of angelological exegesis in confirming the unity of both parts of Scripture. He reads, for example, the two cherubim sitting on the arc of the covenant containing the Law (Ex. 25:17—21) in traditional fashion as representing the Old and New Testaments, which both gaze at Christ.19 In his case, as shall be discussed in a later chapter, affirming such Christological scriptural unity formed part of his response to the influence of Joachim of Fiore's ideas on the Franciscan order. Perhaps the most important aspect of the relationship between humanity and the angels that emerged in this period—the period in which the cultic life of Israel was being formed—was the understanding of how angels and God's people worship together. Psalm 137:1 (Vulgate), "in the sight of the angels [in conspectu angelorum], I sing to you," suggested to Bonaventure that the angels have participated with humans in the glorious worship of God throughout history. The recitation of such psalms was to maintain quite powerfully the presence of the angels of the Psalms in the ritual life of monastics. While clerics might have been most attuned to the cycle of the Psalms in the Divine Office, the entire church benefited from the shared presence of angels as co-worshippers. In Isaiah 6:1—3, the prophet states that he saw: the Lord sitting upon a throne . . . Above him stood the seraphim; each had six wings: with two he covered his face, and with two he covered his feet, and with two he flew. And one called to the other and said: "Holy, holy, holy, is the Lord of hosts; the whole earth is full of his glory."

This text became the basis of the church's Sanctus, a hymn sung by the entire church including the laity through the twelfth century though later only the clergy participated (the early church may have adopted this use from contemporary practice in the synagogue). Medieval authors were quite clear that this "angelic hymn" sung during the Mass brought Christians and angels together. Texts from both testaments further elaborated the roles of angels for Christian worship. As Isaiah 6 provided the basis for the Sanctus, so did Luke 2:14 give to Christendom the Gloria in Excelsis ("Glory to God in the highest and on earth peace among men with whom he is pleased"). In the twelfth century, Elisabeth of Schonau paraphrased Apocalypse 8:3—5 (an "angel . . . stood at the altar with a golden censer; and he was given much incense to mingle with the prayers of all the saints") during a vision in which she beheld an angel with a thurible.20 This biblical passage served as the basis for both the belief that angels help transmit prayers to God and the many iconographic depictions of angels sharing in the liturgy. Thus medieval Christians gazing up at the stained glass of their churches and cathedrals could see angels bearing liturgical objects, especially thuribles and candles. In the Middle Ages biblical texts such as these were mined repeatedly for rheir relevance to the spiritual lives of Christians (part IV discusses the angels and the liturgy in greater detail). As Psalm 91:11 indicated, in addition to their ongoing work as messengers and



concelebrators, the celestial spirits were given the responsibility of serving as guardian angels to individual men and women. The belief in these angels led medieval Christians to offer prayers to their personal guardians, and such prayers helped nourish the hope of an intimate relationship with an angel. Moreover, God assigned the archangel Michael to be the guardian angel for the chosen people, first for the people of Israel and later for the church. Daniel 10:13 calls Michael "one of the chief princes [principibus]" and 12:1 calls him "the great prince who has charge of your [Daniel's] people." As protector of those who will inherit the kingdom to come, Michael appropriately leads the angels in the war against the dragon in Apocalypse 12:7-9. Finally, Jude verse 9 declares that Michael, "contending with the devil, disputed about the body of Moses." The importance of these passages for the history of angelology is enormous. Because of these texts, Michael was to become the protector of the church and the weigher of souls. Largely under Carolingian influence, shrines and chapels were erected to him throughout medieval Christendom, and his image was to appear in many, many architectural and liturgical settings (as shall be seen, such worship of the archangel was not without consequence for medieval chivalry). Because Michael and his fellow archangels, Gabriel and Raphael, possessed names and exercised clear roles in the history of salvation, depictions of these three archangels are quite different from the depictions of the other angels. Their images in paint, stone, or glass exhibit more definite form and character. An image of a human with wings carrying a spear or a set of balances weighing souls would certainly have been Michael. In the Greek church, in particular, Michael, Raphael, and Gabriel respectively became symbols of military, civil, and religious authority.21 Medieval Christians were well-provided with concrete images of the angelic protector of the church or of the angel of the Annunciation. God, however, did not ordain an angel for the protection of Israel alone. Such is the mercy of God, patristic and medieval theologians asserted, that God had ordained a guardian angel for each nation. Pseudo-Dionysius, for example, quotes the Septuagint version of Deuteronomy 32:8 (the Hebrew makes no mention of angelic beings) and explains, "Michael is called the ruler of the Jewish people, and other angels are described as rulers of other nations, for 'the Most High has established the boundaries of the nations by the number of the angels.'"22 God's Providential rulership extends to all the people of the earth, and the exercise of this guidance extends to the planet through these angels of the nations. Medieval theologians linked various orders of angels, especially the principalities, to the administration of the nations of the earth (see chapter 3); theologians saw the angels guiding the world in God's name not only during the era of the Law but also in their own time. The belief in the guardianship of the angels over the nations persisted into the Reformation era. King Manoel I (1495-1521), for example, hoped to establish the third Sunday in July as the Feast of the Angel of Portugal.23 While such an example probably says more about Portuguese nationalism than it does about beliefs about angels, it also suggests the extent to which beliefs about angels have continued to serve a variety of functions throughout the history of Christianity. If the importance of the Law was, as Paul argued, to reveal man's iniquities, then



the angels' role as punishers of transgressions was quite appropriate. Throughout Scripture, God sends His powerful spirits to dispense justice to the wicked. An angel, for example, spreads disease in 2 Samuel 24:16. The motif of the angel as the executor of divine justice was familiar in the Middle Ages. The stained glass of Sainte-Chapelle, for example, preserves the image of this angel. When discussing the Feast of the Dedication of Saint Michael in his treatise on the liturgy, Sicard of Cremona reminds his audience that Michael had been sent to Egypt to plague the Egyptians and help deliver Moses and his people. (The percussorem of Ex. 12:23 and similar figures in 2 Sam. 24:16 and Is. 37:36 helped form the basis for beliefs in the Angel of Death.) The motif was used in contemporary narratives as well; in the Actus beati Francisci et sociorum ejus, for example, an angel upbraids the haughty Franciscan, Brother Elias. And Bernard of Clairvaux hails the angels for their destructive as well as protective roles in the divine economy.24 Indeed, the celestial spirits seemed to some to be more appropriate as punishers than as mediators, for they are merely the messengers of the one perfect mediator, Christ. Just as the Lord stayed the hand of the angel who was to destroy the unrighteous Jerusalem, the mercy of the Incarnation halts the just punishment for the failures of God's people. The era of the Law, therefore, is one of the most important periods in the history of angelology. Not only did angels transmit the Law, but they also presided over the people of Israel, aiding and punishing them. Prior to the Incarnation, Michael and his colleagues exercised the will of God over all the nations of the earth. And because humans saw the angels as concelebrators of the liturgy, Christians would share angelic hymns and offer supplications to them whenever they attended the Mass. Consequently, angels would be an integral part of medieval Christianity, as scholastic texts, spiritual treatises, and devotional practices all presumed the shared presence of the angels in Christian worship and prayer. Indeed, to use the language of Psalm 137:1, there is a sense that Christians live at all times in conspectu angelorum. Angels and the Incarnation: Subordination to Christ and Mary While angels had served as the mediators between God and humans prior to the Incarnation, the event of God becoming man forever transformed the relationship between the divine and the human. The Christian understanding of angels has always been subordinate to the understanding of the person, work, and deeds of Jesus Christ. Thus the contemporary Roman Catholic church holds that Christians cannot know of the angels apart from their work in the economy of salvation. As Karl Rahner declares, "Angelology . . . can only ultimately be understood as an inner element of Christology."25 This view stretches back through the Middle Ages to the New Testament itself. Several books of Scripture stress the superiority of Christ to the angels. Hebrews 1:4-2:18, in particular, is a lengthy discussion defining the subordination of the angels to the Son. Angels form part of the Jewish tradition that the unknown author of Hebrews sees as transformed by the Incarnation. Hence the prophets, the angels, Moses himself, the Levitical priesthood, and the sacrifices of the Jews are altered by the radical event in the history




of salvation. The image of Christ's rulership over the angels in i Peter 3:22 and the Pauline statements about disarming principalities and powers (c.f. Col. 2:15 made in response to some form of angel worship at Colossae) became the normative Christian understanding of the relationship between Christ and the angels. Nevertheless, reaching this normative understanding required several centuries. The Council of Nicea, convened in order to respond to the Arians, addressed the ongoing debates about the nature of God, Christ, the creation, and the angels that permeated early Christologies. The Arians had preferred the title of "angel" for Christ because the term allowed them to reserve a special status for the figure of Jesus without actually linking Him with the Godhead. Thus, Arian Christology has been called the final major attempt to construct an angel Christology. The Arians had been able to develop such a Christology because the early church had yet to establish precisely the relationship between the Persons, the angels, and the creation. Further, Jewish ideas about angels and Gnostic speculations about "aeons" were also part of the diverse angelological/Christological influences on the church in this period. The use of angel for Christ continued to be an issue for the church even into the eighth century; Spanish theologians in the Adoptionist controversy used the term.26 Aquinas addresses the issue of angels and Arian Christology in 4.6-8 of his Summa Contra Gentiles; even after the heresy had ended, the doctrinal precision and distinctions about Christ remained important. Similarly, the fact that some Cathars called Christ an angel (a messenger uncorrupted by the flesh), meant that orthodox theologians sometimes found it necessary to stress the crucial distinctions between angels and Christ. Still, for most writers, the excellence of Christ so clearly surpasses the excellence of the angels, that the latter become hardly comparable to the former. In the Middle Ages, Christians freely used "Lord of the angels" as an epithet for Christ.27 Angels are servants of the Savior, and only through their lord do they remain an integral part of the divine economy. In the Middle Ages, there were many sustained meditations on the roles of the angels in the Annunciation and Nativity. The familiar star that guided the magi seemed to some to be an angel assuming the form of a celestial light, because the wise men were pagans and incapable of reason. By contrast, the angel appeared to the shepherds as an angel because the Jews could use reason and thus apprehend an intellectual being (others viewed this star as the Holy Spirit or simply a newly created star).28 However, the event that insures the ongoing presence of the angels also insures their ongoing subordination. In Bonaventure's Tree of Life, for example, angels merely punctuate the life and mission of Jesus Christ. Not only are the angels subordinate to Christ, but they also become subordinate to Christ's mother. Mary is "mistress of all the choirs of angels."29 The popular prayer, Hail Mary, used commonly by the twelfth century, derives from Gabriel's salutation to Mary in Luke 1:28, Similarly, the increasing use of Mary in liturgical practices (for instance, the Little Office of Our Lady, used especially by the Cistercians and the Camaldulensians) testifies to the increasing role of Mary in medieval devotional practices. As Mary became more important in the twelfth and thirteenth centuries, so too would more attention be paid to the archangel who came to her. Gabriel, for example, appears in several of Bonaventure's texts written on Christ



and Mary, but the archangel appears as part of the basic narrative or as a witness to the importance of the Incarnation.30 Similarly, the Annunciation was one of the most popular scenes in Gothic art. Angels also appear frequently in scenes of the Nativity, depictions of the Virgin and Child, and the Coronation of the Virgin. By the middle of the thirteenth century, however, artists had altered their conception of the coronation scene. Whereas earlier presentations had shown the angels placing the crown on her head, Christ was now depicted as the One who crowns Mary.31 As her status rose, even the angels became unworthy of crowning Christ's mother. As the many popular legends about Mary suggest, the nonscriptural life of the Mother of God could have nearly the same authority as Scripture itself. In his commentary on the Song of Songs, Alan of Lille remarks that "it must be piously supposed" that Mary enjoyed the comfort of the angels before the Annunciation and after the Passion.32 Doctrinally, the most important of these stories concerned the Assumption (which demonstrated that she was sinless, and therefore, not subject to the penalty of death). Jacobus de Voragine's Legenda Aurea dedicates a chapter to this event, and while he suggests that some of the facts are perhaps not quite accurate, he presents them just the same. Perhaps because views of Mary's soteriological status were not unanimous at this time, the veracity of the Assumption itself—the veracity of her sinlessness—is demonstrated by the nine hierarchies of angels that gather to rejoice. Such postbiblical addenda bear witness to the great continuity between the medieval world and the biblical narratives. The sharp modern dichotomy biblical/nonbiblical, in part the product of the Protestant emphasis on sola Scriptura, would have been out of place in the Middle Ages. Typical of many exegetes, Bonaventure examines Luke's account of the coming of Christ and finds the angels' roles to have great significance and to be worthy of extended meditation. The Incarnation, as the work of God, is a work whose "restorative power is congruous, universal, and complete," and the angels are part of its congruity and its universality.33 Working from a statement by Gregory the Great (that "evils were healed by their opposites") and finding confirmation in his own Aristotelian framework (a similar remark occurs in the Nicomachean Ethics), Bonaventure states that Gabriel's persuasion of Mary corrects the evil angel's seduction of Eve. The work of the Incarnation is universal in that all three hierarchies, divine, angelic, and human, concurred in this event. Bonaventure discovers in the Lukan account the congruity and appropriateness of the presence and roles of the angels. Strictly speaking, angels did not have to be involved in the redemption of humanity; rather their presence is a sign of the rational, harmonious, and suitable nature of God's operations. After the Annunciation and the Nativity, angels appear infrequently in the narrative of the life of Jesus. They appear at the Temptation of Christ (ministering to Him in Matt. 4:11), the Mount of Olives (according to certain manuscripts of Luke 22:43, though early manuscripts lack the verse), at the Sepulchre (Luke 24:4-8, for example) and at His Ascension (Acts 1:10-11). While angels are present in these scenes, they seem to have little direct impact on Jesus. Indeed, according to a patristic tradition (which many clerics repeated) the Crucifixion was so strange and incomprehensible that even the angels could not fathom it; they



gaped in wonder and confusion.34 The presence of the angels in these scenes, however, does have an impact on the practice of the religion of Jesus. By merely being there, they set a precedent for linking angels to the temptations, deaths, ascensions, and other parts of the drama of the saints. The popular use of angels in funerary monuments perhaps stems from these gospel accounts. Moreover, because of the habit of allegorical exegesis, the mention of angels in a narrative passage from the life of Jesus could lead to an extended exploration of the meaning of their presence. As shall be seen in chapter 8, the angel at the tomb of Christ came to be associated with the deacons who assist in the Mass; just as the angel ministered to Christ throughout His sacrifice, so too do the deacons serve the priest. So important was this link between the angel and deacons that in many of the Quem Quaeritis reenactments which were so important for Easter ceremonies from the eighth century on, deacons were specifically designated to portray the angel (this constituted one notable exception to the general tendency to have boys perform the roles of angels). Later angelic accretions to the Jesus narrative were also familiar and quite popular. According to the Legenda Aurea, an angel carried Christ's foreskin to Charlemagne at Aix (the author admits he is skeptical of this); another spirit directed a woman to touch the child Jesus for healing; and Michael himself led the Old Testament patriarchs out during the Harrowing of Hell. Scholastics, too, explored other aspects about the relationship between Christ and the angels. William of Auxerre raised the question for succeeding scholastics of whether Jesus had his own guardian angel (according to William, this angel, unlike other guardians, provided only a comforting presence, as Jesus did not need illumination or inspiration).35 Jesus does mention the angels in the course of His ministry and reveals important facts about the spirits of heaven and their missions (as in Matt. 18:10-11), but angels are not an essential part of His activities on earth. However, the eschatological character of Jesus' ministry points men and women to the Kingdom of God where the angels dwell. In addition, because of the important precedents set by Raphael's concealing of his nature, the constant use of anagogy, and the fact that angels are often invisible (as in the story of Balaam and his ass), it was possible and indeed appropriate for medieval artists to depict angels in scenes narrating the life of Christ even when they did not appear in Scripture, such as at the marriage of Cana.36 Similarly, angels appear on an early-twelfth-century baptismal font in Liege; they hold Christ's clothes as he receives baptism from John the Baptist (see figure 3 for an example of this image from an illuminated manuscript). Through such depictions, angels maintained a presence in the sacramental life of medieval Christians. Angels and the Church: Continuing Ministries, Paradigms for Church and State Before He departed, Jesus instituted the church and its sacraments, thus establishing a new era for the soteriological drama. The period in the history of salvation between the Ascension of Christ and the Last Judgment was, according to the medieval cleric's reading of Scripture and sacred history, a period in which the angels



continued their ongoing ministries to men and women. By depicting biblical narratives or saints' lives, the sculptures, stained glass, and decorated columns of churches and cathedrals made this work of the invisible angels quite visible to all. The patterns established in Genesis and other books of the Old Testament continued to hold. While Christ was the perfect mediator, angels continue to guide and assist the members of the church, the new Israel. In Acts 5:17-21, angels liberate the apostles from prison. (They perform the same service for Peter in 12:6—11.) In 8:26, an angel of the Lord directs Philip to take the road from Jerusalem to Gaza (so that he might ultimately baptize an important Ethiopian eunuch). And in Acts 12:23, an angel, still administering divine justice, smites Herod "because he did not give God the glory; and he [Herod] was eaten by worms and died." In the first book of the history of the church, angels maintain their traditional relationships with men and women, with the spiritual descendants of Abraham. As sacred history unfolds, the angels continue to be one of the most important points of contact between the natural and supernatural orders. Along with miracles and prayers, angels constitute one of the three main links between the Most High and the profane (and happily for the church, according to one account, angels helped bring about the conversion of Constantine).37 Angels also continue to join the New Israel in humanity's worship of God. Gregory the Great's Dialogues, a popular text in the medieval period, offers many examples of angels engaging saints and sinners in ecclesiological, sacramental, or devotional occasions.38 And in the Middle Ages itself, the decoration of many cathedrals brought the angelic worshippers into the physical space of the church itself. Thus the Angel Choir in Lincoln Cathedral (constructed 1256) and the stained glass depictions of the angels bearing liturgical instruments in the rose windows of Notre Dame testify to the omnipresence of the angels in the Christian liturgy. If angels joined humans on earth, so could humans aspire to be elevated to their heights, as Paul's claim in 2 Corinthians 12 suggested (as shall be seen in chapter 9, angels played several different roles in medieval Christian mysticism). Yet medieval exegetes go beyond these ongoing devotional relationships between angels and men when they discusses the theoretical relationship between the celestial and ecclesiastical hierarchies. Following patristic traditions, Honorius of Autun, in the early twelfth century, identifies each of the nine orders of angels with different groups in the church's history.39 Similarly, Bonaventure asserts that "the heavenly hierarchy is a model of the Church Militant." Thus, the hierarchy of seraphim, cherubim, and the other orders of angels indicates the appropriate character of the hierarchy of pope, archbishops, and the other worldly church offices. And elsewhere, he states that through the angels "the Church is hierarchized." Not only do the angels hierarchize the temporal church, they also stabilize it.40 For Christian thinking of this era, angels and the church became inseparable. Indeed, the seven angels of the seven churches referred to in Apocalypse 1-3 suggested a perennial identification of angels and the church. The angelic hierarchies also played an important role in defining the relationship between church and state. Curious references in the Pauline corpus served as bases for arguments about the church's authority over earthly rulers.I Corinthians 6:3 declared, "Do you not know that we are to judge angels? How much more, mat-



ters pertaining to this life!" This passage seems to have been a favorite of Gregory VII, one the popes most engaged with defining the proper order of Christian society. In a letter to the bishop of Metz on the authority of popes over temporal rulers, even emperors, he cites this passage. And in his second deposition of Henry IV in 1080, he combines this passage with the belief in the angels of the nations (who exercise their providential ministry through temporal princes). If the church is to judge the angels, and angels preside over earthly rulers, does the church not have authority over sinful men such as Henry? So regular was the deployment of i Corinthians 6:3 by popes and the higher clergy that in the early fourteenth century Marsilius of Padua recognized the need to engage this text (among others) in his Defensor Pads, his vigorous defence of the state's prerogatives.41 For his part, Henry invokes Galatians 1:8, "But even if we, or an angel from heaven, should preach to you a gospel contrary to that which we preached to you, let him be accursed." This text forms part of his argument for declaring that the only act for which he could be deposed was heresy. The Anonymous of York, a defender of monarchical rights in the struggle between popes and temporal rulers, reasoned from the kingship of Christ over the angels that Christ's regal powers excelled his priestly functions.42 Bernard of Clairvaux's reading of i Corinthians 6:3, which he offered to Pope Eugene III, agrees with Gregory's on the theoretical authority of the papacy. But the Cistercian then argues that presiding over temporal matters is not a role worthy of the pope, a man with much graver responsibilities.43 For each of these men, these angelic references in Scripture formed part of the deep reservoir of biblical texts to be drawn upon as their considerations of church and society required. Conclusive arguments did not depend on these passages, but their inclusion is evidence that angels were an integral part of medieval ideas about authority. They helped canonize saints (particularly by escorting the departed soul into heaven) and legitimate political ideologies. Angels and the Last Judgment The ultimate goal of the angelic ministrations was to lead men and women into beatitude. Matthew 22:30 firmly established for the history of soteriology, eschatology, and angelology that men were to be like angels: "For in the resurrection they [men and women] neither marry nor are given in marriage, but are like angels in heaven." Medieval theologians frequently repeated this passage to reaffirm the expectations of the faithful.44 Ideas about angels became inseparable from the similarity between this resurrected saints and the angels. Thus in the portals of many churches and cathedrals, angels and saints stand together in the depictions of heaven. And indeed, because of passages in other parts of Scripture, angels became part of the Christian tradition's thinking about death, resurrection, and the Last Judgment. If the story of the creation of the angels helped theologians to understand the origins of humanity, the story of the apocalyptic roles of the angels enabled medieval Christians to conceive of the culmination of human existence. Luke 16:19-31, the parable of the poor man, Lazarus, and the rich man, portrays the ascension of Lazarus: "The poor man died and was carried by the angels to Abraham's bosom." Angels clearly transport the souls of the elect to heaven. Up



through the Reformation, stories and legends portrayed angels in this role. That angels carry Roland up to heaven in The Song of Roland is not unusual (the great count himself invokes the story of Lazarus in his final prayer). Bonaventure used the Lazarus narrative frequently in his sermons, and the parable was frequently depicted in medieval art and architecture.45 The importance of angels for Christian understandings of death in the Middle Ages will be discussed in the final chapter, but a few points need underscoring here. In addition to the bearing of individual souls, two texts in Matthew reveal that angels will be important at the Last Judgment. In 24:31, clerics read, "[A]nd he [the Son] will send out his angels with a loud trumpet call, and they will gather all his elect from the four winds, from one end of heaven to the other." Thus, thirteenth-century illuminator William de Brailes depicts the Last Judgment with an angel saving him from the torments of Hell.46 Those without access to manuscripts could have seen these images in the tympana of many Romanesque cathedrals. Not only will the angels gather those who are to be saved, they also are responsible for the punishment of the reprobate. "The Son of man will send his angels, and they will gather out of his kingdom all causes of sin and all evildoers, and throw them into the furnace of fire; there men will weep and gnash their teeth" (Matt. 13:41-42). The key to the end of all things for the Christian tradition was the Apocalypse, and the centrality of angels in this text, was to be of immense importance for both medieval angelology and iconography. Because the God of the Apocalypse seems to be a removed angry deity, He seems to need intermediaries to communicate with humans and to administer justice and mercy.47 Thus, Christian understandings and depictions of God and His providential plan for the end of all things constantly draw on angels and angelology. As theologians became more interested in the prophecies of the Apocalypse, their angelology and its revolutionary potential became more prominent in their overall theology. Thus, as shall be seen in chapter 7, in the thirteenth century, for Franciscans in particular, the most pressing question concerning the angels of the Apocalypse was the identity of several of the angels mentioned in this book. Similarly, some have speculated that one of the reasons why the cult of Michael was strongest from 950 to 1050 was because of the widespread interest in the Apocalypse at this time.48 The most important angelological event in the Apocalypse for the medieval church as a whole, however, was the battle between Michael and the dragon. In 12:7—9 Michael and his angels overcome the dragon "who is called the Devil and Satan." Because of this celestial conflict, medieval hymns to Michael address the great archangel as "prince of the celestial army."49 As the vanquisher of Satan, Michael assumes a very important role in the history of medieval piety (as shall be discussed more fully in part IV). Because he overcame the dragon, the faithful can confidently pray to him for efficacious spiritual and temporal intercession. As angels permeate the last book of Scripture, they permeate the medieval understandingding of the history of salvation. Thus, from the Book of Genesis to the Apocalypse, from the creation of all things visible and invisible to the end of



all these, angels play a great number of roles and appear in diverse moments of great significance. These stories of the angels across the length of the literal narratives of Scripture constituted the raw angelological data from which medieval Christians developed liturgical and devotional practices, iconographic traditions, metaphysical analyses, and political and social philosophies. In addition, from their understanding of these angels of sacred history, medieval exegetes fathomed the depth of angelology; they developed the intellectual and devotional habits of reading angels according to the four levels of Scripture. As shall be seen in the next chapter, such readings of the angels of Scripture brought the angels into the immediate present of the medieval world, indeed, into the immediate reading of the Bible itself.


The Depth and Height of Scripture

Allegories, Typologies, and the Angels' Permeation of the Reader's World The fourfold system of exegesis, whereby readers looked beyond the literal, historical text to discover hidden, symbolic meanings, was crucial for medieval angelology because it helped open the text and the reader's own contemporary world to the mysterious presence of God's messengers. Indeed, because people, objects, and events were capable of being read in various ways, their symbolism helped establish continuity between the world of the Bible and medieval Europe. Thus, in three sermons on the Book of Judith's narrative of the struggle between Judith and the Babylonian general Holofernes, Hugh of Saint Victor discovers both the contemporary Christian struggle against Satan and the need for continued angelic support.1 Medieval exegetes dedicated themselves to the pursuit of such allegorical readings because they felt that to know the angels and to appreciate their mission required that the Christian be prepared to see and revere them at any moment, in any place, especially in passages of Scripture.2 According to Gregory the Great, this way of reading the Bible (and indeed the world itself) was one of the joys God has prepared for humanity. Gregory thus compares the reading of the depth of Scripture to dining at a banquet where the many different dishes produce endless delights and continual nourishment.3 Following well-established traditions, Bonaventure defines the three spiritual levels of exegesis that, combined with the literal level, comprised the fourfold scheme for reading Scripture: Allegory consists in this: that one thing signifies another thing which is in the realm of faith; moral teaching, or tropology, in this: that from something done, we learn another thing that we must do; anagogy, or lifting up, in this: that we are given to know what to desire, that is, the eternal happiness of the elect.4 Such multiple levels of Scripture, he contends, are in harmony with the origin, purpose, content, and audience of God's revelation. Not all passages of Scripture necessarily had multiple levels, but it remained for the medieval exegete to ex47



plore the ways in which a passage might have them. For the Seraphic Doctor, the fourfold scheme provided an organizing principle for all human and angelic intellectual and spiritual activity. In his De Reductione artium ad theologiam, he explores the ways in which all human knowledge is to be retraced to the three spiritual, or allegorical, levels of Scripture. Similarly, Aquinas establishes the different modes of allegorical reading at the very beginning of his Summa Theologiae.5 The origins of this type of exegesis lie in Philo's allegorical interpretations of the Hebrew Scriptures (as seen, for example, in his On the Cherubim).6 In the first Christian centuries, problems with the relationship between the Old and New Testaments and between the Christian religion and contemporary pagan philosophy (as well as the problem of the apparent immorality of many of the patriarchs of the Old Testament) led exegetes, especially those of the Alexandrian school such as Origen, to explore the various ways in which passages from Scripture actually contained a variety of figurative truths and meanings. Among other problems for medieval exegetes was how to make literal references to Babylonians and other peoples and places of the Bible relevant to the medieval European world. As Hugh's use of the Book of Judith suggests, the three spiritual levels of the text allowed medieval theologians to read narratives of warfare against the Babylonians in terms of spiritual injunctions. And as military struggles became moral ones, so could Michael's defeat of Satan, at once military and moral, be easily invoked. Interpretations of scriptural references to the city of Jerusalem provide the classic example of how this scheme could clarify the meaning of Jerusalem. According to William Durandus, who wrote one of the most important thirteenth-century texts on the liturgy of the church, "Jerusalem in the historical sense is the town in Palestine to which pilgrims now resort; in the allegorical sense it is the Church Militant; in the tropological it is the Christian soul; and in the anagogical it is the celestial Jerusalem, the home on high."7 In reading pericopes allegorically, in opening their minds and souls to the deep mysteries of God's revelation, premodern biblical exegetes were happy to agree with Paul's observation that the letter kills, but the spirit gives life (2 Cor. 3:6). From the early fifth century (particularly with the work of John Cassian), the church's standard view of Scripture was to identify the three additional levels with each of the three theological virtues. Allegory corresponded to faith (what one should believe), tropology to love (how one acts), and anagogy to hope (what one should long for). While such an approach to Scripture might suggest that medieval exegesis could be open to wild speculations, it seems that, on the whole, fourfold exegesis was quite disciplined and conservative. Medieval theologians, even those who tended to emphasize the centrality of the literal level of the text, remained particularly sensitive to the allegorical readings of angels. Through his own training in Paris, for example, Bonaventure had become familiar with the Glossa Ordinaria, and this compilation of comments by patristic authors contained many authoritative allegorical readings of angels. He thus draws regularly on the Glossa in his Commentary on the Sentences. Following the Glossa, he reads the doctor implied by Jeremiah 51:9 anagogically as an angel.8 In such readings, Bonaventure is typical. The many entries under "Allegoriae quae ad angelos spectant" in the "Index de Allegoriis" of the Patrologia Latina sug-



gest the regularity of allegorical readings of angels throughout the Middle Ages.9 So great was the Glossa's influence, and so pervasive was the habit of allegorizing that Hugh of Saint Victor composed his textbook, De Sacramentis, in part to make certain that young clerics would have a faithful guide to correct allegorical interpretations (many of Origen's theological errors were considered to be the result of his improper allegorizing). Aquinas, who addressed the issues of scriptural interpretation more thoroughly in his Summa Theologiae than Bonaventure did in his Commentary on the Sentences or the Brevilaquium, provides an example of how the entire fourfold scheme could be brought to bear on angelic questions. In 1.113.7 of the Summa Theologiae, he asks "Whether Angels Grieve for the Ills of Those Whom They Guard?" His first objection, which argues that "it would seem that angels grieve for the ills of those they guard," cites Isaiah 33:7, "The angels of peace shall weep bitterly." Yet he concludes that since grief occurs because of things which happen against the will, and because nothing happens against the will of the angels—their will is perfectly aligned with God's—and since nothing happens against God's will, "Angels do not grieve." How does Aquinas resolve this apparent discrepancy between Scripture and his rational deduction? He replies to the first objection, These words of Isaiah may be understood of the angels, that is, the messengers of Ezechias, who wept on account of the words of Rabsaces, as related Isa. 37.2 seqq. This would be the literal sense. According to the allegorical sense the angels of peace are the apostles and preachers who weep for men's sins. If this passage be expounded of the blessed angels according to the anagogical sense, then the expression is metaphorical, and signifies that, universally speaking, the angels will the salvation of mankind. For it is in this manner that we attribute passions to God and the angels.w

While this passage illustrates how Aquinas employs the fourfold scheme to make sense of a confusing text, such uses of the full scheme to interpret angels are relatively rare in the Summa Theologiae as they are rare in other writings. Above all, medieval exegetes employed the anagogical reading of Scripture to angels, because the anagogical sense was also the angelological sense. Since the anagogical level pertains to ultimate, heavenly matters, and since humans will be like the angels at the Resurrection (according to Matt. 22:30), the anagogical sense of Scripture provides ways of discerning the angels hidden in the literal meaning of Scripture. The "Index de Allegoriis" in the Patrologia Latina suggests the great number of creatures that exegetes from the third century on could read as angels. Sisters, kings, rocks, trees, winds—nearly anything could suggest the presence of God's messengers.11 Where Christians read (or heard) the word stellae, they could see angels, and where they read Jerusalem they could imagine angels in the celestial city. In the thirteenth century, scholastics were especially fascinated by the anagogical level of Scripture because of the influence of Psendo-Dionysius on their thought. This man, the supposed convert of Saint Paul, had stressed the importance of anagogy because it elevates the mind, bringing it heavenward toward the angels. The latter half of the twelfth century witnessed a revival of studies of the Areopagite, and thirteenth-century theology experienced what one



scholar has called a "Dionysius-renaissance."12 Bonaventure formally acknowledged his debt to the Areopagite for his anagogical reading of Scripture, and his writings present abundant examples of his anagogical readings of angels. He reads, for example, the stars and heavens of Genesis 15:5 ("Abram, look at the heavens and, if you can, count the stars") via anagogy as angels, and one of the four faces of the creature of Ezekiel is, via anagogy, the "loftiness of the angels." Likewise, he preaches in a rather matter-of-fact tone that the golden shields of i Maccabees 6:39 are also angels.13 Consequently, the anagogical reading of Scripture constituted a primary way in which angels were ubiquitous in medieval life and thought. Such angelic ubiquity remains fully in accord with God's omnipresence, for as the "messengers" represent the One who sends them, the ubiquity of angels becomes another way of conceiving of the eternal presence of God. The anagogical sense, therefore, kept the image of the angels perpetually in the minds of readers and listeners of Scripture. While the authority of the Glossa was helpful for identifying anagogical readings of angels, it was not necessary; new meanings and new anagogies were discovered.14 Medieval readers had only to keep their minds alert and their imaginations active in order to see that the rejoicing kings of Tobit 14:9 are also the guardian angels who rejoice at the salvation of sinners. Moreover, those who were familiar with Pseudo-Dionysius's Celestial Hierarchy would have been aware of the rich contemplative possibilities latent in the biblical narratives about the angels. As he observes, even the bodies the angels assume in their meetings with humans have significance; the angelically produced human eyelids and eyebrows signify the importance of protecting what the mind has seen of God.15 The perpetuity of allegorical readings of angels is another example of the great continuity between the patristic and medieval readings of Scripture and indeed of the continuity of angelic interpretation within the medieval period itself. Beryl Smalley has suggested that the spiritual senses of Scripture, in particular the anagogical sense, were more attuned to the life of the cloistered monk than to the ministering friars.16 As the exegetes of the thirteenth century became more engaged in temporal questions, their desire to pursue the anagogical vision of eternal happiness waned, and their contemplation of earthly questions waxed. It is important to note, however, that this general shift of interest away from anagogy did not pertain to the specific topic of angels, for which anagogy remained an important method of interpretation. Aquinas followed Augustine's anagogical reading of "light" in Genesis i :3 as "angels" because he, like many others, needed to confirm the creation of the angels biblically; anagogy remained extremely useful. Bonaventure, who in many of his works declared his desire for a retreat from the world, personally found the anagogical reading of Scripture the most important of the Bible's four senses.17 The widely read Legenda Aurea, too, contains numerous examples of allegories and anagogies pertaining to angels. In part because of their devotional significance, anagogic angels remained important. While anagogy could transform stars into angels, anagogy could also lead an exegete away from the angels. Immediately after Bonaventure reads the stars as angels in the first passage from the Collationes in Hexaemeron cited above, he reads the literal angels of Genesis 18:2 and 19:1 anagogically as the Trinity.18 In ana-



gogy, as in all things, the angels remain subordinate to God. The allegorical sense of Scripture, while it could suggest angels, would be more likely to suggest Christ. The Glossa Ordinaria, for example, reads the role of the archangel Raphael in the Book of Tobit in almost exclusively Christological terms. Thus the fish that Tobias uses to heal his blind father (according to the archangel Raphael's instructions, Tobit 6:1-8) and to drive away a demon points to Christ. Following the tradition established in the Glossa, Bonaventure in one of his sermons transforms the story of Tobias and Raphael into an occasion for looking beyond the archangel (who cannot cure men's souls) and toward Christ, whose mercy saves humans.19 Similarly, the moral (or tropological) sense of Scripture could point beyond the literal angels toward a moral meaning of a passage. Thus the angels of Jacob's ladder could signify not angels but the virtues, and the struggle between Michael and Satan could become a story of humanity's spiritual struggle.20 Because angels remained subordinate to Christ in the virtue of faith and because the patriarchs, saints, and Christ were more valuable than angels as examples of the moral life (as human beings, they had more in common with medieval Christians than did the angels), the allegorical and tropological levels were less important for angels than the literal and anagogical. Nevertheless, the allegorical and moral levels did enable medieval Christians to link angels to other Christian symbols and morals. Thus the Seraphic Doctor finds that the two seraphim of Isaiah 6:3 are signs both of the two testaments and of the fear and love of God; Jacobus de Voragine sees in different aspects of John the Baptist all nine orders of the heavenly hierarchy; and Geoffrey of Admont sees in the winds, the beasts, and sea of Daniel 7 the struggle of angels and demons for the hearts of men.21 While the dominant senses of Scripture for thirteenth century angelology seem to have been literal and anagogical, there was something of a fifth mode of reading the Bible that was crucial for the study of angels. Aquinas called this the parabolic sense (sensus parabolicus), and he describes it thus: The parabolical sense is contained in the literal sense, for words can signify something properly and something figuratively; in the last case the literal sense is not the figure of speech itself, but the object it figures. When Scripture speaks of the arm of God, the literal sense is not that he has a physical limb, but that he has what it signifies, namely the power of doing and making. This example brings out how nothing false can underlie the literal sense of Scripture.22 In essence, the parabolic sense is a modification or refinement of the literal sense. Often the evocative language of Scripture does not readily fall into one of the spiritual readings of Scripture, and exegetes were free to understand certain words figuratively. The parabolic sense was crucial for medieval readings of angels because various biblical passages use certain images to refer to angels that do not quite fit the traditional conception of what the spirits of heaven are. Hebrews 1:7 (drawing on Psalms 104:4), for example, identifies angels with winds and with fire. Pseudo-Dionysius uses the parabolic sense (though he does not use the phrase) to clarify this passage; "winds," for example, can symbolize a number of things—the speed of angelic operations, the ceaseless activity of God, or even how the higher beings live pleasingly before God.23 Only the last of these could belong properly



to one of the traditional fourfold categories. The Areopagite frequently employs this parabolic sense to explain the "anthropomorphisms" of angels in Scripture. Such anthropomorphisms constituted one of the greatest problems for medieval exegetes regarding angels. Bonaventure confronts these problematic images in several of his sermons on angels. He cites the horses and chariots of 2 Kings 6:17 and explores how steeds and carts might properly refer to angels. He does not use the phrase "parabolic sense," but in effect he provides a reading of unusual images of angels according to the parabolic sense. The images signify not literal horses and chariots swirling but rather the courage and swiftness of angelic ministrations.24 The influence of the Areopagite is clear. His anagogical and parabolic reading of angels permeate medieval angelology. The authority of the direct convert of Paul provided the authority needed to resolve confidently these unusual and questionable references to angels. In addition to providing challenges for exegetes, some angelic passages in the Bible also evoked for medieval Christians specific references to their own world. As allegories of angels could point a monk to Christ, so too could the allegories of the historical angels of Scripture suggest other figures in the contemporary church. Indeed, as noted in the previous chapter, the entire church hierarchy itself was modeled on the spirits above. Franciscans in particular were captivated by angel typologies. Following Franciscan tradition, Bonaventure in the official vita of the founding saint, interpreted Francis himself as the sixth angel of the Apocalypse.25 Franciscans saw themselves in terms of angels, and Bonaventure's constant use of angelic-Franciscan typologies was not unusual. Joachim of Fiore (ca. 1132-1202) had interpreted certain angels of the Apocalypse to indicate that the church would soon see two new orders of spiritual men; by the middle of the thirteenth century, both Dominicans and Franciscans saw their own orders in terms of the fulfillment of this angelic prophecy (with dangerous consequences, as shall be seen). Salimbene de Adam, a fellow Franciscan and near contemporary of Bonaventure, applies Joachim's (or more likely Pseudo-Joachim's) allegorical reading of the fishermen of Jeremiah 16:16 to the Friars Minor. And he compares the Franciscans, who, like the angels, are mobile missionaries of God, to the angels who appear to Abraham in Genesis 18 (Franciscans implicitly are to receive hospitality from those they visit just as these angels did—see figures i and 2). The Actus bead Frandsd et sociorum ejius, which contains many stories and legends of Francis and his first followers passed down via oral traditions, includes many instances of Franciscans understanding themselves as angels or angelic.26 Typologically as well as spiritually, Franciscans and the angels of Scripture were inseparable. Because of these two typological readings of the angels of Scripture—the allegorical and the Franciscan—and because of the literal presence of the ministering angels from heaven, Bonaventure's life and world were especially replete with angels. He saw angels in Franciscans, stars, and shields just as a casual glance in a cathedral might bring any Christian's gaze to an angel rendered in stone or glass. Other preachers and theologians lived in the same angel-filled world, but it seems that the Seraphic Doctor was particularly eager to discover and appreciate the spirits' presence. He naturally sought to transmit this angelological reality to others. The story of the purification of Isaiah's lips by a seraph (Is. 6:5-7) gave him



hope, for he believed that God, working through His ministers, does indeed purge humans of their sins and prepare them for proper contemplation of the angels. In delivering a sermon on the highest of God's creatures, then, the preacher becomes another Isaiah. In this sense, Christians were to imitate those who had experienced the angels as directly as the prophet (Christians also could be encouraged to imitate the speed of Abraham in serving food to the angels in Genesis 18 as a remedy against the sin of acedia).27 Similarly, narratives of saints' lives from Gregory the Great's Dialogues to countless other texts throughout the entire medieval period contain examples of faithful imitations of biblical typologies involving angels. Such encounters, it was hoped, would be repeated. Bonaventure is simply an outstanding illustration of a churchwide phenomenon. His repeated use of the fourfold scheme for angelic exegesis, then, is indicative of the importance of the depth of Scripture for medieval angelology. Through this habit of reading, both the Bible and medieval Christendom were seen to be filled with angels and angelic typologies. The Angelic Hierarchies The concept of hierarchy as passed down from Pseudo-Dionysius the Areopagite (and to a lesser extent from Augustine) provided medieval thinkers with what M.-D. Chenu has called a "total hypothesis," a framework for understanding everything, a framework comparable to evolution today.28 Both Dante's Divine Comedy and his Convivio are largely explorations of the hierarchical arrangement of the cosmos. Similarly, Bonaventure developed his ideas of the Trinity, the angels, the church, human society, the creation as a whole, and the human soul all in the context of his understanding of hierarchy. The hierarchy of angels also offers Bonaventure a way of understanding the sinful, unhierarchized soul's progress as it journeys to God, and one of the highest epithets he bestows on Francis is the title, "hierarchic man." Further, because the hierarchy of angels was a model for the ecclesiastical hierarchy, matching the orders of angels with the orders of clerics was commonplace. And appropriately, therefore, the Seraphic Doctor, as had Bernard of Clairvaux and many others, delivered sermons on the angelic hierarchies to popes and cardinals.29 As medieval thinkers contemplated the celestial hierarchy of the angels, they also contemplated the very structure of the Creator, the creation, and the restoration of humanity. A full treatment of the origins, development, and influence of the idea of "hierarchy" on medieval thought is immense and beyond the scope of this study. While diverse theologians offered several nuanced interpretations of what hierarchy actually is, this examination of the medieval understanding of the angelic hierarchies can employ a basic definition. A hierarchy in which an angel participates is "an ordered power, sacred in nature and belonging to a rational being, by virtue of which a superior being legitimately dominates the beings subject to him."30 From God on down through His entire creation, all things exist in a system of hierarchies. Just as each hierarchy contains a top, a middle, and a bottom, every creature exists in a hierarchical relationship to creatures above and below it. For medieval thinkers, the angelic hierarchies provided a way of contemplating and



explaining the hierarchical arrangement of the creation. As the highest of the creatures, the angels suggest the perfect image for all creation. Their very arrangement of three sets of three orders within three hierarchies had Trinitarian intimations, which Bonaventure frequently explored (Aquinas argued against such readings because the Trinity does not exist in a hierarchy).31 According to the Seraphic Doctor's understanding of the perfect poetry of the creation, the Trinity manifested itself in the very arrangement of the hierarchy of angels. And as the Trinity created the world, so too did it guide it; the operations and functions of the angels constituted one aspect of this divine providence. Within this framework, theologians sought to understand Scripture's curious references to a number of creatures who appear to be much like angels. Isaiah refers to seraphim, various parts of the Old Testament speak of cherubim, and Paul speaks of principalities, powers, dominions, as well as other beings. More regularly encountered by most Christians were the archangels, cherubim, seraphim, dominions, powers, and virtues mentioned along with the angels in various Prefaces to the Mass from the days of Cyril of Jerusalem in the middle of the fourth century onward. In liturgies used throughout the Middle Ages, these beings are depicted as adoring, praising, and even fearing the majesty of God. The act of worship, therefore, gathered humans and these creatures together in a church or chapel, and meditations on these beings constituted what Bonaventure called the "splendid consideration of the heavenly hierarchy."32 From early in the church's history, the traditional interpretation of these creatures was that they were all angels arranged in some sort of hierarchy. (The use of hierarchies to understand these spirits derived ultimately from Neoplatonic theories of emanation.) But this basic affirmation that virtues and seraphim were also angels left many questions unanswered. As early as the first century, Ignatius had declared that he remained puzzled about the orders of angels.33 What exactly are these creatures and how would medieval theologians have understood each of these beings? Moreover, for the historian of medieval religious life and thought, the question also becomes, Were these various other types of angels at all important to the Middle Ages as a whole? Throughout the patristic and medieval periods, theologians recognized the challenges these creatures posed. The "Index de Angelis" in the Patrologa Latina, for example, contains a great many references to discussions of angelic hierarchies from the second through the twelfth centuries.34 Scripture reveals that these beings exist, but it says little else concerning what they do or what their roles in the economy of salvation might be. Clerics recognize their responsibility to explain the significance of these creatures, but theologians often confess their inability to speak confidently. The early church struggled with the definition and exegesis of these different creatures. Augustine, for example, raised the question of what the thrones, principalities, and other orders of angels might be and how they might relate to angels and archangels. He concluded skeptically: "[L]et those who are able answer these questions, if they can prove their answers to be true; but as for me, I confess my ignorance."35 Until the recovery and widespread use of Pseudo-Dionysius's Celestial Hierarchy in the twelfth century, Gregory the Great's teachings on the nine orders of angels (contained primarily in his Moralia on Job and his Homilies on Ezekiel) became the



authoritative interpretation of the angelic hierarchies. Indeed, Gregory's allegorical reading of Luke 15:8-10 provided the fundamental scriptural basis for identifying nine as the number of heavenly hierarchies.36 Without this passage, Scripture would not seem to ever mention all of the orders at once. His reading passed into medieval clerics' hands via the Glossa Ordinaria, and thus Abelard and Bonaventure repeated this interpretation of the woman's ten coins as representing the nine orders plus redeemed humanity.37 Still, confusion about these creatures remained. Bernard of Clairvaux's prefatory remark to his explication of these angels' roles is not atypical: "Let us suppose, unless you can conceive of something more agreeable that. . . ."38 Although he states that it is an article of faith that certain titles do indeed refer to angels, he also declares that the actual purpose and function of these creatures is open to opinion. The renewed study of Pseudo-Dionysius and his Celestial Hierarchy that began in the middle of the twelfth century provided medieval Christendom with an even greater authority for discussing the hierarchies.39 Because of their studies of the Areopagite's extensive reflections on these spirits, Hugh of Saint Victor (who wrote a commentary on the Celestial Hierarchy), Bonaventure, and Aquinas were able to explore the angelic orders far more confidently than Augustine and Bernard could. Nevertheless, some ambiguities and uncertainties remained. Ironically, the precise identity of the most important angelologist of the Western church (and perhaps of the Christian tradition as a whole) remains unknown. The author of the Celestial Hierarchy, Ecclesiastical Hierarchy, The Divine Names, Mystical Theology, and various letters claims to have been the Dionysius the Areopagite converted by Paul in Athens (Acts 17:34); he was probably a late fifth-century Syrian monk. While some doubts existed about his claim even in the first known reference to the Dionysiac corpus (532), by the thirteenth century he had acquired the status of apostolicity. In its life of this saint, the Legenda Aurea affirmed that Paul had taught his convert about the mysteries of the heavens.40 And since Paul himself had experienced the rapture of the splendor of heaven (2 Cor. 12:2), the apostle must have taught Pseudo-Dionysius many things concerning the spirits of heaven. Appropriately, in the Legenda, angels escorted Pseudo-Dionysius to his final resting place after his death. In Paradise X, Dante places the Areopagite in the sphere of the Sun, the abode of the theologians, along with Aquinas, Peter Lombard, Bede, Bonaventure, and others. Pseudo-Dionysius seems to have composed his works around 500. The earliest Latin translation of the Greek corpus was by Abbot Hilduin of Saint-Denis in Paris in 838 (according to the Legenda, these texts themselves healed several sick men). Hilduin also contributed greatly to the status of Pseudo-Dionysius by conflating three different persons—the author of the texts, the Dionsyius of Acts 17:34, and the Dionysius who was the first bishop of Paris—thereby constituting a rather venerable authority indeed. At the request of Charles the Bald, John Scotus Eriugena completed a more useful translation in 862, and in 1165, John Sarrazin also translated the texts. While these translations were available for centuries, Pseudo-Dionysius remained an obscure figure until the cathedral schools of Laon and Saint Victor began to comment on his work. Cistercians and Benedictines took less interest in the Areopagite because the difficulty of his language



and concepts required the environment of a school to be meaningfully utilized. Through these cathedral schools, Pseudo'Dionysius entered into the Sentences of Peter Lombard and hence irrevocably into academic theology in the Middle Ages and beyond. The number of texts and commentaries on the Areopagite available in Paris in the thirteenth century is impressive. Indeed, there seems to have been something of an industry around this figure. So popular was he that the thirteenth-century Franciscan Salimbene de Adam expressed his regret that he had not been named Dionysius in his honor.41 The importance of Pseudo-Dionysius's angelology becomes most clear in his arrangement of the nine hierarchies of angels. The Fathers had disagreed on what belonged in the list of angels. Ambrose and Gregory the Great each listed the nine orders but in different arrangements, Jerome did not include the principalities or virtues, and the Apostolic Constitutions (later 4th century) include "aeons" and "hosts" (and display a highly unusual order).42 After the acceptance of the Areopagite's' Celestial Hierarchy, his arrangement of the angels became standard. The Areopagite provided his followers with an apostolic (and hence authoritative) interpretation of a number of confusing passages and points about Scripture. Indeed, his authority determined what was and what was not an angel. By the early Middle Ages, the celestial hierarchy of the nine orders of angels however they were arranged, had become part of the traditional teaching of Christian theology. Despite the great authority of the Areopagite, however, Bonaventure still recognized the difficulties in speaking of the principalities and powers, their characteristics, and their roles in the divine economy. In his Commentary on the Sentences, he prefaces his comments on the Master with praenotata that indicate his own uncertainty. The Seraphic Doctor's normal mode of scholastic commentary, the discursive quaestio, normally begins with a question (phrased as a proposition), then presents several arguments from reason, Scripture, or theological authorities in favor of the proposition, then offers counterarguments, the author's own conclusions, and finally the responses to those statements that contradict the author's conclusion. Instead of proceeding by this mode, which Bonaventure calls the via inquisitionis, he prefers to discuss the hierarchies first through what he calls the via narrationis.43 The subject of the hierarchies calls not for scholastic method but for a simple narration of what a hierarchy is and what the orders of angels are. In this regard, Bonaventure the scholastic comes much closer to Bernard than he does to his fellow scholastic, Aquinas, who did apply the method of the quaestio to the problem of the explanation of the nine orders.44 This difference between the Seraphic and Angelic Doctors indicate the extent to which theologians disagreed about the approach to the angelic hierarchies. Aquinas and Bonaventure agreed on the arrangement of the hierarchies and many other issues, but they disagreed on method. Bonaventure hesitated where Aquinas boldly continued his rigorous examination because the Franciscan remained less confident about discursive reason than did the Dominican. (Aquinas nevertheless did admit that the subject is a confusing one, as ST 1.108.5 suggests.) Precisely because Scripture seemed ambiguous and reason seemed insufficient for examining the angelic orders, Bonaventure relied heavily on the near-apostolic authority of Paul's Athenian convert, Pseudo-Dionysius.45



The titles of Pseudo-Dionysius's Celestial Hierarchy and Ecclesiastical Hierarchy suggest that the most important element of the traditional views of the various angels inherited by medieval theologians is the belief that these angels are arranged in a distinct hierarchy. To be more precise, according to the Areopagite, the angels exist in three distinct hierarchies each of which contains three separate orders, and together they constitute the angelic hierarchy as a whole.46 The arrangement of the angelic orders (in descending order) according to the Areopagite was: First Hierarchy Second Hierarchy

Third Hierarchy

seraphim cherubim thrones dominions virtues powers principalities archangels angels

(the names derive from their relationship to God) (the names all suggest a common administration or disposition for ordering the universe) (the names derive from the performance of their duties)

As noted before, Gregory the Great's arrangement of the orders of angels was the other major authority of the medieval period. He differed from the Areopagite slightly (his ranking of the principalities, powers, and virtues is inverted), and for those medieval theologians who were uninfluenced by Pseudo-Dionysius or the Lombard, particularly the Cistercians, his scheme was used. Thus Bernard's arrangement of the hierarchies follows Gregory, as do the lists provided by the twelfth-century Instruction Sacerdotis and by the early thirteenth-century Cistercian, Caesarius of Heisterbach. (It has also been speculated that Bernard must have known about Pseudo-Dionysius's teachings but that he intentionally omitted any reference to the Areopagite as an implicit critique of the scholastics' enthusiasm for him.)47 A small number of thinkers would alter their arrangements of the hierarchies to suit their own purposes. Michael the Scot, who was in the service of Emperor Frederick II, placed the cherubim (who represent knowledge) above the seraphim (who represent love) because he valued knowledge over love.48 On the whole, however, such alterations of the order were rare. Bonaventure and Aquinas both explained the differences between the Areopagite and Gregory the Great over the precise arrangement of the orders by arguing that the former investigated angels according to their nature and essence whereas the latter studied the spirits of heaven according to their function.49 The Seraphic Doctor sided with the Areopagite on the arrangement of the orders largely because of his faith that Paul had instructed his convert in the angelic mysteries. On the other hand, Aquinas argued that given the similarity of titles and functions of some of the orders, there is little essential difference between the two Fathers. The existence of differing opinions from two great authorities was noted by many writers who discussed the angelic hierarchies, and many of these authors presented explanations for their divergence that arc similar to these scholastics.



As Dante progresses through the heavens in the Paradho, he discovers that when Gregory arrived in heaven and beheld the true hierarchy of the angels, the great pope discovered his errors and "as soon as he opened his eyes . . . he smiled at himself."50 For medieval theologians, the names of the various orders offered clues to the nature of their specific duties. As signified by the meaning of the Greek word aggelos, the primary mission of the angels is to be "messengers"; so too would the meanings of each of the titles of angels suggest their primary roles and characteristics. Yet in the Areopagite and Gregory the Great the twelfth and thirteenth centuries inherited two different interpretations of the modus operandi of the hierarchies. Pseudo-Dionysius's angelic hierarchies are inflexible and absolutely hierarchized. For him, the separate orders of angels do not fill separate functions for humans. Rather, each higher order of angels transmits knowledge and instruction through the next lower angels, and only the lowest rank of angels, the angels, interacts with the mundane world directly.51 By contrast, Bernard, who followed Gregory's lead, presented a hierarchy of angels that was diversified in function. Whereas only the angels interacted with mortals in Pseudo-Dionysius's absolutely linear hierarchy, Bernard declared that different orders of angels have different responsibilities. Pseudo-Dionysius was concerned primarily with the intellectual process of illumination, not the actual ministries of the angels. Bernard, by contrast, sought to understand what function each of the orders of angels performs for humans. Thus he asserted that the virtues are responsible for the working of miraculous signs; the powers oppose the evil forces of the world; and the principalities preside over the princedoms of the world.52 Several of Bernard's orders are therefore quite active in human affairs. Typical of the scholastics, Bonaventure combined both elements in his understanding of the celestial hierarchies. His treatment of each of the orders reveals that the Seraphic Doctor affirmed the Areopagite's rigid system of the transmission of knowledge and duties while he also allowed room for some direct points of contact between some higher orders of angels and the world of men and women. Pseudo-Dionysius, for example, interpreted the meaning of "principality" in ontological and epistemological terms, in terms of the principality's inclination toward the divine principle. Bonaventure saw in the title principality the clue that these angels exercise duties over princedoms.53 Thus, in some cases, the Seraphic Doctor's interpretation of the significance of the titles is closer to Gregory's and Bernard's, but he nevertheless placed his interpretations of each of the specific orders in the context of Pseudo-Dionysius's scheme of hierarchical emanation and illumination.

The Individual Orders and their Diverse Ministries Medieval exegetes found the six-winged seraphim in Isaiah 6:2—7 (their only appearance in Scripture): "Above [the Lord] stood the seraphim; each had six wings: with two he covered his face, and with two he covered his feet, and with two he flew. And one called to the other and said: 'Holy, holy, holy is the Lord of hosts; the whole earth is full of his glory.'" Following the traditional translation of



the Hebrew word seraph as "burning," medieval readers identified the seraphim with the fiery love of God, As they cry the Sanctus of the Mass, "Holy, holy, holy," they burn with the love of God and never leave His presence. The seraphim represent the summit of the creaturely ability to contemplate and love the divine. Hugh of Saint Victor pointedly contrasts their fiery nature with the purgatorial fire that most humans will need. For Aquinas, their heated nature suggests their own rising and ascending to God as well as the burning light whereby they illuminate and move others. For many, such as Geoffrey of Admont, they become figures of desire, drawing inspired minds into the mysteries of their six wings. If their wings cover God's face and feet (a possible interpretation which Jerome's reading of the Hebrew text encouraged), what secrets of God's majesty are being veiled? The fulfillment of seraphic typologies was thus quite a sign of sanctity. It was a great honor for Brother Philip of the Friars Minor to have been touched on the lips with a burning coal by an angel as Isaiah had been touched by a seraph. And Bernard, exasperated by the political involvements of recent popes, declares to Pope Eugene III that they (and the church) would be far better off if they were one with the seraphim, totally devoted to the love of God.54 As shall be seen in subsequent chapters, the ardor of the seraphim was an important element of medieval reflections on both love and order. Although many of these explications of the seraphim and their six wings were for devotional or hortatory purposes, Jerome's condemnation of Origen's own reading of these angels underscored the dogmatic seriousness of the exegetical enterprise. Jerome repeatedly defended himself against the accusation of being an Origenist by referring to his interpretation of Isaiah 6. Whereas Origen saw the Son and Holy Spirit in the two seraphim, Jerome sees the Old and New Testaments. The former endangers the Trinity, whereas the latter demonstrates the unity of the Christian canon. Moreover, certainly for medieval exegetes and probably for Jerome as well, because the seraphim were the ultimate source of the Sanctus, the proper interpretation of these angels was of no small importance.55 The stakes were quite high indeed. The Franciscans had a special reason for meditations on the seraphim. Not only is a seraph the highest and most sublime of God's creatures, but also, as shall be seen in chapters 6 and 7, a seraph, or perhaps Christ in the form of a seraph, was the central figure in the validation of Saint Francis. Thus, like other Franciscans, Bonaventure speculated on the nature and hidden significance of these beings.55 They have three sets of wings and their name signifies fire, but what do such things mean? Captivated by their mysteries, he entitled an entire treatise On the Six Wings of the Seraph, and references to the liturgical seraphic cry, "Holy! Holy! Holy!" punctuate his writings as the model for creaturely appreciation of the divine. He sees in the three sets of wings the descent and ascent of Christ. In the Collationes in Hexaemeron, he utilizes the six wings of the seraphim to provide different ways of understanding God and God's nature. The wings also serve as a way of discussing how "all creatures of this sensible world lead the soul of the wide beholder toward the eternal God."57 (Bonaventure's readings of the seraphim in these texts will be discussed in greater detail in subsequent chapters as they apply to diverse aspects of his broad engagement with the medieval church.) The rigid system of the Areopagite's hierarchy of angels led him and his readers



from Eriugena in the ninth century and thereafter to a rather interesting exegetical problem. In Isaiah 6:6-7, a seraph flies down from heaven and purifies the prophet's lips with a burning coal. If the seraphim never leave the side of God, if only the order of angels interact with mortals, how could a seraph have purged Isaiah? Would not such a seraphic intervention in the mundane world violate the divine economy's hierarchy? Bonaventure, Hugh of Saint Victor, and many others acknowledged this as a problem, but they referred their reader to the Areopagite for a solution.58 In the entire thirteenth chapter of his Celestial Hierarchy, PseudoDionysius argues (as he must) that the angel of Isaiah 6:6—7 was not a seraph but rather an angel who had received its original instructions via the entire hierarchy of angels from a seraph. Thus the angel could properly be called a seraph even though it belonged to the order of angels. The quandary over this apparent glitch in the Dionysian system testifies both to the fragility of the system and the dedication of the angelologists who sought to keep the system together. In the thirteenth century, the authority of the Areopagite's writings provided the basis for confident speculation regarding the angels. If medieval theologians could not convince their students of the solidity of the Pseudo-Dionysian system, then it would be quite difficult to engage in any confident exploration of the angels. Consequently what might appear as a minor problem actually threatened one of the bases of medieval angelology. Although the cherubim appear more frequently in Scripture than the seraphim, and although they were important for devotional and theological reflection, they were not nearly as frequently discussed.59 Again, medieval angelologists took their clue about the character of this order of angels from the traditional translation of cherub, "fullness of knowledge." The cherubim suggest the perfection of creaturely knowledge. The use of the cherubim illustrates another important feature of medieval angelology: the potential ubiquity of angelic discourse. Theologians could use angels to discuss almost anything. In the cherubim over the Ark of the Covenant, for example, Bonaventure sees that Christians are to contemplate God both in His oneness, but also in His three Persons; Bernard, as he chastises the ignorance of his monks and their faulty devotional practices, reflects on the special knowledge of the cherubim.60 As with the seraphim and their proximity to God, the place of the cherubim on the Ark of the Covenant led medieval writers to respect them and meditate on their significance. Thus Richard of Saint Victor's treatise on contemplation, The Mystical Ark, a reading of the meaning of the Ark according to the moral or tropological sense (and a text that influenced Bonaventure's own reading of the seraphim), explores extensively how the cherubim are aids to understanding the highest levels of contemplation. Similarly, reliquaries in the form of the Ark provided visual representations and liturgical uses for these cherubim, functions that were interwoven with the various symbolic meanings attached to the Ark and these angels.61 Medieval reflections on the different orders note that each order of angels possesses all of the angelic qualities and virtues in degrees appropriate to their rank, but each particular order receives its title because it is associated with that particular quality.62 Thus, every angel, not just the seraphim and cherubim, also possesses a love of, knowledge of, and steadfastness toward God. As no human person



has only one virtue but many, so too do all of the angels exhibit many noble and holy characteristics. The cherubim both know and love, and indeed they and the seraphim likewise possess the qualities of all the lower orders. Even though the cherubim were not as widely discussed as the seraphim or the archangels (who were prominent for several reasons), the significance of their knowing God in a special way and their placement over the Ark meant that they were much more regularly commented on than the members of the other lower ranks. Whereas the seraphim, cherubim, archangels, and angels could each be discussed independently depending on the liturgical, devotional, or theological circumstances, the members of the five middle orders were generally discussed as part of the roles of the entire nine hierarchies. Hence much less was said about them, and when one passes from the cherubim to the thrones, one passes from familiarity to obscurity. The thrones (throni) owe their recognition among men and women primarily to Paul, as do the dominions (dominationes), virtues (virtutes), powers (potestates), and principalities (principatus),63 As the final rank of the first hierarchy, the thrones represent the essence of creaturely clinging to the divine goodness. They suggest the permanence of the divine presence, the authority and power of the throne of a king. Thus, Bonaventure associates the attribute of steadfastness with these creatures, and Bernard associates them with supreme tranquility. Further, God judges the world through these particular angels.64 The Seraphic Doctor does not elaborate on how God and the thrones do this; he merely states that these particular angels are part of the divine process of judgment. The second hierarchy suggests "ordained power"; thus the dominions preside, the virtues operate (by performing miracles, among other things), and the powers repel harmful forces (usually demons). If this explanation seems vague and slippery, it is because medieval language itself on this point is vague and slippery. Bonaventure states that "virtus imperativa . . . ad Dominationes . . . spectat"—"the power to command . . . pertains to the dominions".65 The verb specto is hardly precise. He does not detail these angelic powers or functions at all. Rather, he seems to be associating qualities and abstract forces with the titles of the angels. One of the reasons why he preferred to explain the orders of angels in his praenotata and not in a quaestio was, perhaps, because he did not think he could go beyond these basic associations. Medieval exegesis of the angels thus can appear, at times, quite loose and unspecified. Bonaventure, for example, frequently uses the verb tango to explain the significance of scriptural passages. A story or a word "touches" upon some other meaning or some other passage. Thus God's smiting of the proud in Job 26:12 "touches the powers."66 Bonaventure, it seems, does not want to state explicitly that God chastises the proud through the powers, rather he is content merely to suggest some vague but extant connection. The verb tango is sufficiently imprecise to allow medieval exegetes to establish a relationship without actually defining the relationship itself. Thus two scriptural elements can be related, but the relationship can be established simply as one of harmony and suggestion. Aquinas's juxtaposition of Gregory's and Pseudo-Dionysius's readings of the orders suggests that part of the reason for this slipperiness comes from the nature of the Areopagite's system. Pseudo-Dionysius preferred to describe the orders in terms of what the names signify, convey, or teach, whereas Gregory



was willing to state what they do.67 Hence followers of Pseudo-Dionysius were more inclined toward vague language when attempting to describe specific angelic ministries. For all Christians, the final triad of angelic orders is the most active in human affairs, and here medieval theologians became more explicit about the actual functions of the angels. Widely accepted views included beliefs that the principalities are responsible for the wise governance of the kingdoms of the world; the archangels direct multitudes of people; and the angels are responsible for being the guardian angels of individuals. Alternate descriptions were possible; in one of his sermons, Bonaventure states that the principalities lead humans into beatitude, the archangels teach hidden things, and the angels guard, comfort, and support humans.68 He sees different understandings and different uses for the orders of angels, and he freely explores alternative meanings suggested by the angelic titles. Because of the looseness of angelic hermeneutics, it remains difficult to establish with absolute certainty what theologians believed about the specific angelic hierarchies. The principalities provided the occasion for medieval theologians to bring the classical idea of Fortune into the context of divine Providence. To ancient minds, one of the central roles of Fortune had been to explain the seemingly unpredictable shifts of power and empire from one nation to the next. In discussions on free will, Fortune, fate, and Providence, Aquinas ascribes to the principalities this exact role. Similarly, Bernard ascribes to the principalities this task of raising and diminishing kingdoms.69 Implicitly, providential ministers govern the cosmos, not an impersonal, seemingly capricious force. In canto VII of the Inferno, Dante is even more explicit in his angelological metamorphosis of Fortune. Following Aquinas's lead, the poet describes Fortune as one of the empyrean spirits created by God to guide the cosmos. Significantly, Dante places the discussion of Fortune in the mouth of Virgil—the pagan sage who knows the true nature of divine Providence only in death. The canto further links the ancient personification of chance with just and good cosmic rulership by beginning the canto with a reference to the battle between Michael and Satan. Both Fortune and Michael thus have roles in the well-ordered divine economy. The classical vision of the goddess is thus transformed completely, as an unfathomable force presiding over the affairs of kingdoms is incorporated into the Christian idea of divine Providence. The principalities also presented certain exegetical difficulties for medieval theologians. One of the most unusual of Aquinas's discussions of angels is his interpretation of Daniel 10:13, "The prince [Vulgate, princeps] of the kingdom of the Persians withstood me [an angel helping Daniel, possibly Gabriel] twenty-one days; but Michael, one of the chief princes came to help me." Aquinas declares that this passage compels him to raise the question of whether there can be "strife or discord among the angels" (Summa Theologiae, 1.113.8). Working from opposing arguments by Jerome and Gregory the Great concerning the identity of this prince (one of the principalities) and his relationship to God, Aquinas constructs an elaborate scheme to harmonize apparent angelic discord with heavenly unity: Now in their actions the angels are ruled by the Divine decree. But it happens at times in various kingdoms or various men there are contrary merits or demerits. . . .



As to what is the ordering of Divine wisdom on such matters, the angels cannot know it unless God reveals it to them. . . . And so according as they consult the Divine will concerning various contrary and opposing merits, they are said to resist one another; not that their wills are in opposition, . . . but that the things about which they seek knowledge are in opposition.

The tone of this article indicates that Aquinas is not well pleased with what he feels forced to conclude. He does not seem confident about his picture of a muddled, almost bureaucratically confused angelic hierarchy. Nevertheless, he has reconciled the difficulties of reading princeps as a benevolent angel in the context of a well-ordered hierarchy of angels. For Bonaventure, the passage from Daniel is not a problem, since he reads it as concerning one of the evil angels.70 Nevertheless, Aquinas's curious discussion suggests the lengths to which theologians were willing to go to defend their assumptions about the angelological integrity of Scripture and the tradition. Archangels are in many respects the most important rank of angels for humanity, but biblical uses of the actual term occur infrequently, only in I Thessalonians 4:16 and Jude 9 (which identifies Michael specifically as an archangel). In addition to declaring that archangels preside over multitudes of people, medieval theologians also assigned these angels the task of delivering crucial messages to men and women, such as in the Annunciation.71 The order of archangels is the only order that has names for some of its members. Traditionally, Michael, Gabriel, and Raphael were seen to be archangels (from the eighth century, Uriel, who appears only briefly in 2 Esdras was no longer seen to be a sufficiently orthodox figure to be accepted and commented upon with the others). As each of the titles of the orders suggested the functions of the order, so too did the names of the archangels provide clues for the medieval exegete. Following the traditional understanding of the translation of their Hebrew names, Christians interpreted Michael to mean "He who is as God," Gabriel as "Fortitude of God," and Raphael as "Medicine of God."72 Whereas commentaries on the Sentences or Summae Theologiae were the scholastic vehicles for expounding on the meaning of the hierarchies, sermons, especially those delivered on the Feast of Saint Michael, remained the most important context for explorations of the named archangels. In one such sermon allegorically reading the story of Raphael's healing miracles in the Book of Tobit, Bonaventure identifies Raphael with a triple medicine for sin—with compunction, memory of the Passion of Christ, arid prayer.73 (As shall be seen in part IV of this study, Raphael's aid could also be invoked for "magical" purposes such as divination and healing.) Similarly, the Seraphic Doctor associates Gabriel with the virtues of reverence, purity, concord, and mercy, which explain why he was sent to the Virgin. Through him and the rest of the angels, these virtues can arise in humans. As with his discussion of the functions of the orders, Bonaventure does not develop this process in detail; the sermons are more for hortatory than explanatory purposes.74 Finally, Michael escorts the departed soul and presents it to God (cf. Jude 9), and he also serves as the protector of the church. This last function had been suggested by Daniel 10:2 r, where the archangel seems to be the



guardian angel of Israel. As the church replaced Israel as the people of God, so did Michael's protection come to extend to the church. In one of his sermons, Bonaventure explains the relevance of these archangels for humans and rhetorically asks why Raphael and Gabriel do not have their own feast days. That other authors such as John Beleth and Sicard of Cremona likewise raised this same question suggests a widespread respect for these archangels. John Beleth explains, however, that Michael is to be venerated above the others because he is the "commander of Paradise and the guardian of souls." Moreover, Michael is also the angel of Exodus, having slain Egyptian sons and parted the Red Sea. Sicard quotes this declaration in his own work, and adds that Michael also deserves particular reverence because he led the Israelites "through the desert and into the land of promise."75 Bonaventure, in a revealing passage of the Collationes in Hexaemeron, seeks to make Gabriel into a virtue. Although in III Sentences d. 2, dub. 4, he calls Gabriel an archangel, Bonaventure here argues that Gabriel belongs to the middle of the middle order of angels, since it would be most fitting for the angel of the Annunciation of the Mediator to come from the middle of the middle triad (which, Bonaventure argues, corresponds to the Son). As the unknown transcriber of Bonaventure's Collationes in Hexaemeron records Bonaventure's oral presentation, "This is being proposed as a probability."76 This passage illuminates two important aspects of medieval angelology. First, it demonstrates that medieval Christians were keenly interested in the details of the celestial hierarchy. Bonaventure in particular wants a complete understanding of the angels and the divine economy. He takes great delight in the "splendid consideration of the heavenly hierarchy," and even in his last lectures, he is speculating on angelological errors he might have made in previous works.77 Second, it shows that while he is comfortable in discovering correspondences, parallels, and other appropriate identifications, he and his colleagues remain tentative about formal conclusions. His angelology, like that of most theologians, often reveals such simultaneous comfort and hesitancy in speculation. Thus Bernard prefaces his discourse on the angels in his On Consideration with a hortatory discussion of the crucial spiritual differences between opinion, faith, and understanding.78 Finally, the title of angel appears frequently in the Vulgate where aggelos served as a translation of the Hebrew mal'akh, also meaning "messenger." All agree that they are responsible for delivering messages that are not as lofty and significant as the communications transmitted by the archangels. As the most immediate of the angelic orders as far as humans are concerned, the angels must serve many important tasks, serving in particular as the guardian angels of individuals. The devotional practices discussed in part IV are, with some exceptions (particularly Michael), devotional habits pertaining to the order of angels. The angels, therefore, are crucial for the church even though they are not particularly distinct. In some sense, they serve as "default angels," the angels that would be presumed to have the various responsibilities mentioned in the Bible, such as the control of winds in Psalms 104:4, Hebrews 1:7, and Apocalypse 7:1 (see figure 5). Iconographically, certain tendencies for portraying the nine orders are discernible in medieval manuscript illuminations, glass, mosaic, and sculpture, but



there seems to have been no consensus on the precise depiction of each of the individual orders. (In large part, this reflects the imprecise meanings attached to each order.) In general, both seraphim and cherubim often have six wings, and in the later Middle Ages both are sometimes depicted simply as heads with wings (this is a more frequent depiction of the cherubim, as the isolated head appropriately signifies their intellectual character). Following Apocalypse 4:8, the cherubim more frequently have eyes on their wings (sometimes a seraph will as well), and the seraphim may sometimes be depicted in red or surrounded by fire. Sometimes these orders, particularly the cherubim, stand on wheels or carry disks (from the vision in Ezekiel 10). Thrones often are seated on a throne or stand before one. As a symbol of their presiding, dominions may carry an orb or scepter. Virtues seem to be portrayed with irregularity (the working of wonders does not lend itself to a distinct iconography), but the powers are often seen with a sword, as they are constantly fighting demons and other harmful forces. Principalities in presiding over kingdoms often appear in armor carrying weapons. Archangels, when they are not specifically Michael, Gabriel, or Raphael, may carry a trumpet as a sign of their function of revealing the greatest mysteries to humanity. As part of the nine orders, the order of angels alone seems to exhibit no distinctive appearance. Figure 11 from the Passional of Abbess Cunegundis illustrates several of these iconographic conventions. That such representations did not attain anything approaching universal acceptance can be seen from the ceiling of the thirteenth-century baptistry in Saint Mark's Cathedral in Venice. Here, the dominions are associated with Michael's weighing of souls, and the powers are represented as binding Satan in chains. Given the diversity of medieval portrayals of the nine orders, it is perhaps more useful to consider each particular representation of the nine orders within its specific devotional or liturgical context, as Pamela Sheingorn has done for the Norwich alabaster of the nine orders (created in 1415). She correlates the iconography of the angels here specifically with the Sanctus; the preponderance of albs and amices in the depictions links the angels specifically with their liturgical roles.?9 The Hierarchies and the Medieval Church While theologians saw a multitude of conceptual, practical, and aesthetic roles for the hierarchies of angels, were nontheologians at all interested in the nine orders of angels? How widespread were knowledge and beliefs about these different classes or types of heavenly spirits? Bonaventure's Sermons on the Angels (a collation of sermons gathererd by the editors of his Opera Omnia) suggest that preaching concerning the hierarchies was, at best, irregular. While he himself presents the nine orders to his audience, he also chastises those clerics who do not expound the meaning of the angelic hierarchies. "Indeed there are many well-known, great clerics who are not able to name the orders of angels. And, what is even worse, they are not able to say the basic tenets concerning how many orders there are and what they are like. . . . There is great negligence!"80 Despite his cry for more preaching on the hierarchies, his own sermons reveal that he is more interested in the three named archangels. He devotes much more time to the deeds



and ministrations of these angels in particular and on "angels" in general than he does to the individuated hierarchy of angels as a whole. This tendency to mention the nine orders only at a general level is common to many medieval texts. Caesarius of Heisterbach, for example, merely identifies the orders and says nothing of their duties or offices. While one of Abelard's hymns refers to the nine orders of angels, it does not list or develop them in any way. Likewise, the Ancrene Riwle merely recognizes that an anchoress may say nine "Our Fathers" in honor of the nine orders of angels if she wishes to do so.81 In several places, Jacobus de Voragine lists the orders in the Legenda Aurea, and he even provides a brief statement of their functions and significance. But his reading John the Baptist in terms of the different qualities of each of the nine orders says more about John than about the dominions, and he is far more concerned with the great workings of Saint Michael than with his angelic colleagues.82 Similarly, across the span of sources for medieval religious thought and practice, the archangels are far more important than the remainder of the hierarchies. Michael himself had his own feast day (September 29), and while this date provided the occasion for reflections on the angels, relatively few records of interest in the nine orders survive. On the whole, the artistic depiction of the entire hierarchy was relatively rare until the later Middle Ages (and even then, religious practices were more focused on the three named archangels and on guardian angels).83 By contrast, Michael appears frequently in stone and glass throughout the entire medieval period. Some prayers that mention or refer to the entire hierarchy of angels have survived. An eleventh-century prayer to Michael also invokes the aid of the angels, archangels, and "all supernatural orders." A prayer of the twelfth century lists all of the orders and asks that they protect the person who offers the prayer from evil, to purify him or her from stain, and to save him or her from all the dangers of life.84 In general, however, while some medieval Christians offered prayers to the nine orders, such prayers seem to be rare. Reticence among theologians to discuss the more obscure hierarchies such as the thrones or dominions individually may have contributed to relative lack of interest in the hierarchies. Theoretically, according to Bernard, Aquinas, and many others, the virtues perform miracles, but explicit examples of virtues (as opposed to angels in general) actually working supernatural changes in the universe appear rarely, if at all, in medieval texts. Such a reluctance to link a specific order of angels with particular miracles may be the result of how the understanding of the missions of the virtues and the powers—respectively, working miracles and opposing harmful demonic forces—arose in response to late patristic and early medieval concerns about magic; Christian, angelic powers exceed those of demons and pagan sorcerers, but the powers of these angels are not to be detailed in the same formulaic way.85 In a casual reference, Dante states that through the thrones "God in judgment shines upon us," but such an explicit reference to the thrones outside the context of a presentation of the entire hierarchy is unusual. Likewise, Aquinas's formal consideration of the role of the virtues in the movement of the heavens occurred only because he was asked the question specifically by the lector of Venice, Bassiano of Lodi. The Angelic Doctor, working from Origen's reading of Matthew 24:29, "virtutes caelorum commovebuntur," and working from the



principle that the virtues as the middle order of angels mediate between celestial and terrestrial matters, states that it is indeed the virtues who move the heavens. Significantly, he does not remark on the fact that the virtues would thus have the duties of both performing supernatural miracles and directing the natural processes of generation, movement, and decay through the regular motion of the spheres (as discussed in chapter i).86 Again, however, this discussion was evoked by a particular set of circumstances, and consequently, a broad or popular engagement with most of the individual hierarchies should not be expected. The evidence from medieval religious drama confirms the relative lack of widespread popular interest in the entire hierarchy of heaven. Paul Heinze has collated the data from over one hundred medieval French plays. While a cherub and a seraph appear in a few of the plays, the entire hierarchy of angels appear in only two.87 In some sense, this is hardly surprising, since the virtues, powers, and other lesser angels never appear in dramatic scenes in Scripture. (The prince of Daniel 10:13 is an exception.) On the other hand, as beings who punctuate the sanctity of Christ, Mary, and the Saints, it would not be unreasonable to imagine that had the dramaturges of these plays been genuinely interested in the hierarchies, they could have presented the entire hierarchy of angels adoring, worshipping, and praising. Still, in the medieval mind, the angelic hierarchies clearly were powerful and sacred. A thirteenth-century text on magic, for example, claims that every creature can be affected by the magical arts except for the nine orders of angels.88 Similarly, the orders could be useful against the temptations of demons. Brother Benintende of the Franciscans discovered that a demon who possessed a woman was unable to name the orders of angels beyond the first three because doing so would cause him too much pain.89 (The friar subsequently exorcised the demon.) Above all, it seems that the most important aspect of the angelic hierarchies was the simple fact that they were arranged hierarchically. Regardless of who they were and what they did, the ordered angels provided medieval society with a celestial model for their own hierarchical world. (This subject of the use of angelology in medieval social and political thought has been discussed more thoroughly by Georges Duby and Giles Constable.)90 In discussions of human society and in such considerations of hierarchy, however, the specific angelic orders and their particular roles in the divine economy became lost. For Honorius of Autun, the peculiar fiery nature of the seraphim is not as important as the simple fact that they are above the archangels. From this datum, he concludes that Saint Peter (who, as an apostle, corresponds to the seraphim) must be the supreme gatekeeper of heaven and not, as according to some authorities, Saint Michael (who is but an archangel). That Honorius advances this hierarchical argument in the context of establishing the superiority of Rome and regular canons over monks is illustrative of Carolyn Walker Bynum's observation that the twelfth century was deeply concerned with establishing group identities and the special places of distinct orders within church and society. Similarly testifying to the importance of the idea of hierarchy, Alan of Lille preaches the obedience of the lesser angels to the greater ones in his attack on the Waldensians who were threatening church order and discipline. That hierarchy and subordination were permanently enshrined in the order of things was underscored by



Aquinas when he argued that the angels would remain in their hierarchies even after the Last Judgement.91 It seems fair to conclude that the details of the hierarchy of the angels of Scripture as medieval theologians understood them were important for theologians and exegetes but not for many others. Evidence for the widespread dissemination of the names and functions of the individuated hierarchy of angels is lacking, and indeed Bonaventure's own writings testify to the lack of preaching on this matter. Nevertheless, because of the importance of the idea of hierarchy, and because of the specific and often explored attributes of the seraphim, cherubim, and archangels, the height of Scripture constituted one of the central components of medieval angelology. Conclusion to Part I: The Beauty and Propriety of the Angels Although a few instances of changes in interpretation can be seen over the entire medieval period, on the whole angelic exegesis was quite conservative. (Specific examples of dangerous controversies, such as the interpretation of certain angels of the Apocalypse, will be treated in subsequent chapters.) The reading of Isaiah 63:1—2, for example—in which interpreters such as Hugh of Saint Victor, Bonaventure, Jacobus de Vorgaine, and Aquinas all discern angelic bewilderment over the Crucifixion—was a traditional reading inherited from the Fathers and transmitted through Pseudo-Dionysius and the Glossa.92 As this interpretation illustrates, medieval exegetes concurred on many points because they received many of their readings of angels from the common source of the Glossa Ordinaria. Medieval interest in Gabriel and his role in the Incarnation, it is true, came from reverence for Mary, and such Mariology was new in the thirteenth century. Still, this increased investigation of Gabriel was largely a difference of emphasis. Differences did exist concerning the specific details of the creation and fall of the angels (matters rendered problematic by the absence of clear biblical descriptions of these events), but these differences for the most part demonstrate the existence of broad orthodox agreement on fundamental teachings. Bonaventure's own reading of the angels in Scripture thus is noteworthy not for its originality but because it is both extensive and intensive. On the whole, relatively few significant disagreements about the readings of the angels of Scripture arose in the medieval period. One of the reasons for this medieval consistency was the fact that angelic exegesis was undertaken within fairly clear limits. Doctrinally, the Fathers (and in some cases the authors of Scripture themselves) had set the boundaries within which angelological speculation could take place. Angels are ministering spirits completely subordinate to Christ and His saving work; God is the sole creator of all things; angels serve His providential plan in a great number of different roles as ministers, messengers, revealers, punishers, and worshippers. Origen's and Aristotle's teachings and Cathar beliefs could challenge these fundamentals but not overturn them. Such doctrinal limits nourished the continuity between biblical and medieval eras. Just as the Crusaders discovered in Jerusalem a stone upon which an angel of the Lord stood when it slew Israelites to punish King David, so



too did the exegete discover, or rather live in, that same world of David, Israel, and the angels.93 The setting of clear boundaries of angelology consequently opened up the imaginative faculties to speculations through the fourfold reading of Scripture. As long as a reading did not violate one of the central tenets concerning the place and purpose of the angels, and as long as the reading illuminated the presence of God's messengers in some way, a reading could be both valid and devotionally useful. Thus angels became ubiquitous; and because their ubiquity was understood typologically, they were quite familiar in their mysterious omnipresence. The multiplicity of biblical roles for angels meant that they would be present in a great number of different contexts in the medieval world. Further, there were two other important operative principles in medieval angelological exegesis, principles that allowed exegetes, especially those inclined toward systematic thinking, to weave together a tapestry from the disparate threads of biblical and patristic traditions—the principles of beauty and propriety. As an argument from Bonaventure demonstrates, the principle of beauty helped theologians pursue some difficult questions of angelology. Although angels exist in clearly arranged orders, are the angels within each order equal in rank? When the Seraphic Doctor concludes that the angels are indeed arranged in gradations within each of their orders, he bases his argument on the beauty (pulchritudo) of the gradation of creatures.94 For medieval theologians, beauty itself had ontological and metaphysical status.95 Indeed, this is hardly surprising; since God Himself is beautiful, it is not unlikely that his creation, which contains vestiges of the blessed Trinity throughout, would also be beautiful. For thirteenth-century scholastics, beauty itself was related to the transcendental forms in which particular objects participate. Essentially, beauty was one of the operating principles of God's creation. Consequently, appeals to what is beautiful constituted an important element of medieval angelic hermeneutics. Beauty and aesthetic categories abound in Bernard's discussions of the hierarchies and their roles in the cosmos. In one of his sermons delivered on the feast of Saint Michael, Bonaventure discusses the beauty of the angelic hierarchies. The Glossa Ordinaria comments on how beautifully (pulchre) the chorus of angels received and protected Jacob as he journeyed to meet his hostile brother, Esau (Gen. 32: 1-2). And Hugh of Saint Victor observes that the ecclesiastical hierarchy ought to aspire to the beauty of the angelic hierarchies.96 For medieval Christians, angelic exegesis thus was also something of an exercise of the aesthetic or poetic sensibility. As poems are read on various levels, as readers seek to uncover the hidden meaning of the author, as critics discover parallels in a poem, so too do medieval exegetes see Scripture as something of a beautiful poem. While few would argue that a Commentary on the Sentences would constitute a poem, it is important to observe that the methods of contemplating God, the universe, and the angels, which even the scholastics employed as they wrote their commentaries, come from a poetic worldview. Not surprisingly, many of the leading scholastics, including Aquinas and Bonaventure, had experimented with poetry before becoming theologians. The principle of beauty was related directly to the other crucial principle for



angelological exegesis—the principle of propriety. Thus Gregory the Great declares that the angels are, when not ministering to humans, invisible, for it is proper that servants resemble the One they serve.97 God's providential plan is so well-ordered that Honorius of Autun begins a discussion of certain angelological matters with a reflection on how the seemingly disparate workings of the universe actually resemble the sonorous chords of a harp.98 This sense of propriety, of proper order and innate congruity in the cosmos, found its most tangible, and perhaps most familiar, expression in the careful designs of the great Gothic cathedrals. But the relationship between angels, beauty, and propriety is most clear perhaps in the Latin title of Pseudo-Dionsyius's second chapter of the Celestial Hierarchy: "That divine and heavenly things are appropriately revealed even through dissimilar symbols." The word for "appropriately" points not only to the fitting aspects of biblical symbols for the angels, but also to their beauty; the adverb is from pulchritudo. Such a sense of propriety informed the attention given to the names of the archangels and angelic orders—names and titles are not mere conveniences but rather signify ordained roles. This sense also encouraged exegetes to speculate on the mysteries of numbers—the six wings of the seraphim or the two cherubim on the Ark of the Covenant. Similarly, it allowed them to employ terms such as tango and specto in their angelology, affirming the connections between the angelic orders and the governance of the cosmos as a proper part of the divine economy. Scripture's length, depth, and height contained many mysteries, but there were also many clues for the devout to follow, clues which could be assembled and understood according to the beauty and propriety of the cosmos. The height, length, and depth of Scripture provided theologians with their basic facts concerning the angels and the essential soteriological, existential, and historical frameworks for understanding who and what the angels were. But the great angelologists of the Middle Ages developed their angelologies not only from Scripture and exegesis but also from philosophy and metaphysical reasoning. And in contrast to the general consensus on the interpretations of the angels in Scripture, the metaphysical speculations concerning the angels generated great debates (such as that between Bonaventure and Aquinas over the question of hylomorphism) and even formal church condemnations (in the Condemnations of 1277). Because the metaphysical understanding of the spirits of heaven was the Middle Ages' most original contribution to Christian angelology, part II of this study investigates these medieval explorations of the angelic nature as well as the historical events that revolutionized the theologians' capacities for investigating this subject.



Angels, the Philosopher, and the University The Nature of the Angels

As established in part I, the Christians of the Middle Ages saw angels as creatures whose proper temporal duration is aeviternal, who dwell in the empyrean heaven, and who have no natural, corporeal body. These aspects of the angelic nature naturally fall under the category of angels and Scripture because they were explored by theologians as a direct result of the angels' appearance in Scripture and their role in the history of the creation. Moreover, just as these subjects appeared in illuminated manuscripts and on portals and tympana, so too were they subjects encountered by the whole church, not just scholastics. While the scholastics themselves often developed their ideas about angels and the creation in response to Arab and Greek ideas about intelligences and the origins of the world, their conclusions were not, on the whole, new answers in the history of Christian angelology. Rather, their problems, conclusions, and surrounding contexts were inherited largely from Origen, Augustine, Gregory the Great, and other Fathers. By contrast, their metaphyscial discussions of the angelic nature were quite different from anything produced in preceding centuries. The flowering of medieval angelology in the thirteenth century was the result of formalized, logical reflections on certain natural and metaphysical aspects of the angels raised by Aristotelian categories and problems. Presenting theologians with a special set of problems, the natural qualities of angelic existence appear to be unique. Hebrews 1:14 reveals that they are spirits, but what exactly is a spirit? Do they admit of any corporeality or connection to matter? If angels are pure spirits, do they have eyes? If they do not have eyes, how can they see or learn about things? Of all of God's creation, only the enigmatic angels raised such difficult questions. Scripture seems inconclusive on these and many other aspects of the nature of the angels. The church Fathers investigated these problems and reached minimalist, often contradictory conclusions that endured for several centuries.' The attitude of Christian theologians toward the study of the angelic nature prior to the rise of scholasticism seems best exemplified by Augustine, who called speculations into such matters nothing more than



a "useful exercise for the intellect." In his estimation, the questions were ultimately unworthy of extended contemplation. Thus he writes, "For what is the necessity for affirming, or denying, or defining with accuracy on these subjects, and others like them, when we may without blame be entirely ignorant of them?"2 In the eleventh and early twelfth centuries, theologians such as Bernard of Clairvaux remained satisfied to repeat the ideas of Augustine and Gregory the Great; the science of angelic existence had not progressed in several centuries.3 Indeed, with a few exceptions, prior to the rise of scholasticism, there was almost no interest in the technical details of angelic metaphysics and very little in the specifics of epistemology. Nonscholastic theologians were more engaged with angelic vocation (their ministries to humans) than with angelic nature. The scholastics of the twelfth and thirteenth century revolutionized the Christian study of angelic nature. In her detailed study of Peter Lombard and her work on other theologians, Marcia L. Colish has described the contours of scholastic angelology from the early twelfth century to the early thirteenth.4 She divides this period into three stages. In the first of these periods, which culminates in the Sentences of Peter Lombard, scholastic theologians confronted the need for an organized scheme for teaching theology, and they established that angelology would be considered in the context of the creation. Exploration of angelic topics centered, then, on the creation, the fall of the demons, and the confirmation of the angels, and these discussions were driven by debates over possible harmonies and conflicts between the Genesis account of creation and Platonic and Neoplatonic accounts such as the Timaeus, The desire to argue against Origen's belief that even demons can be saved led theologians to explore the moral and intellectual aspects of the angels in the context of their capacities for knowledge, sin, and salvation. While these scholastics were, in many cases, providing traditional answers to these problems, they were approaching these questions from new perspectives and with a distinct scholastic methodology that, ultimately, culminated in a complete transformation of angelology. In the second period, roughly the second half of the twelfth century, Colish observes that "the interest in angels" was "quite muted." With some exceptions, Lombard's teachings on angels remained predominant, and few new explorations are noticeable as theologians became concerned with other issues. In the final stage (the first quarter of the thirteenth century), however, scholastics such as William of Auxerre and Alexander of Hales began to apply new philosophical categories to the study of angels, and these scholastics were led to new metaphysical and epistemological problems. Bonaventure was one of Alexander's students, and it was in the Seraphic Doctor's era that his mentor's exploratory work led to the great medieval angelological syntheses. The mid-thirteenth-century angelologies of the university-trained scholastics represent the culmination of more than a century and a half of medieval angelological evolution.5 Aquinas's ideas about the nature of the angels were immensely more detailed and complex than the angelologies developed prior to the twelfth century. As the centers of theological education shifted from the monasteries to the cathedral schools in the first half of the twelfth century, and as the study of Aristotle came to dominate the pedagogies of the masters, the study of the nature



of the angels underwent drastic transformations. Significantly for the subsequent history of angelology, this same century also witnessed formal attacks on angelological speculation within the university. The Condemnations of 1277 made it illicit to advocate certain teachings, some of which even Aquinas had advanced. Aberrant angelologists could now find themselves subject to excommunication. The thirteenth-century university incorporated three fundamental changes in theological thinking that greatly transformed Christian considerations of angels. First, over the preceding century and a half, under the guidance of Aristotle, new logical techniques and methods such as the quaestio had evolved and become a formal means for examining all theological questions. As the dialectical method became the primary means of exploring the problems of theology, it led theologians to raise new questions about angels and to explore old questions in greater depth. Second, again under the influence of the Philosopher, the twelfth and thirteenth centuries witnessed an increasing interest in the very nature of creatures and in the use of philosophical and metaphysical categories to explore such natures. In comparison with their patristic and monastic predecessors, scholastic theologians displayed a much greater desire to study the angels in se. Thus, in the twelfth and thirteenth centuries, theologians studied angels not only as "angels" or "messengers," from the perspective of their vocation, but also as "intelligences" or "separated substances" or "spirits," from the perspective of their natures. (Theologians had adopted these latter terms and concepts from the recently translated texts of Greek and Arab philosophers.) Finally, the development of formal theological textbooks, particularly the Sentences of Peter Lombard, known simply as the Master, enshrined a definite place for the study of angels, transforming angelology from an ad hoc topic into a formal element of theological training. Because the Master discussed angels at the beginning of Book II of the Sentences, every student of theology would formally examine the angels as part of his professional training. The thirteenth-century university, particularly the University of Paris, inherited and continued to foster these transformations. Thus as a prospective student progressed through the various preparatory stages of an academic career, he encountered the new logical techniques, the new interest in nature, and the new textbook that had revolutionized the study of the angels and their nature. Bonaventure's own experiences were in many ways typical. When he arrived in Paris in 1236 at about the age of nineteen, he studied first in the faculty of arts, where he examined Aristotle's works on nature and metaphysics and mastered logical and analytical techniques such as the quaestio.6 From 1243 until 1248, he began his theological training in the Franciscan school, listening to masters such as Alexander of Hales and Jean of La Rochelle deliver their lectures on Scripture and the Sentences. For the next two years, as a Biblical Bachelor, he read the entire Bible cursorie (providing only a brief commentary) under the supervision of a master; in this period he encountered and began to comment on Scripture's revelations concerning the angels and their nature. Next, as a Bachelor of the Sentences, he lectured cursorie for two years to younger students on Lombard's Sentences. He then began to develop his own particular ideas about the angels of heaven in response to the Master's statements. 7 Finally, from 1252 through 1255,



as a Formed Bachelor, he completed his final requirements for becoming a licensed teacher of theology, including delivering an extensive commentary on the Sentences. In this period, he developed his full ideas on the complex angelic nature. Through such training, scholastics explored with great logical rigor and tenacity the angels' intellectual and emotional capacities, their personhood, their simplicity, their problematic relationships to space and time, and even the very metaphysical bases of their being. Indeed, at the university they developed what may be called properly an "angelology," a science of angels. Chapter 4 traces the impact of each of the three major theological changes— the development of the quaestio, the renewed interest in nature and metaphysics, and the development of the Sentences—on the scholastic study of the angels. In these sections, attention is focused on the social, economic, and institutional circumstances of this era in order to suggest how discussions of spirits and metaphysical abstractions had significant implications for the professional and material well-being of both students and masters. Chapter 5 provides an overview of the major scholastic propositions concerning the angelic nature through a consideration of a central text, Bonaventure's Commentary on the Sentences, and its relationship to several other scholastic texts. Aquinas's Summa Theologiae, as will be seen, was more complex and detailed in its angelology, but the Commentary, because of its relationship to formal scholastic training, is more representative of scholastic thought as a whole. Fortunately, J. D. Collins's The Thomistic Philosophy of the Angels provides a more detailed account of the intricacies of scholastic (particularly Thomistic) angelological doctrines, their origins, and their disagreements, and there is no need to repeat his work here. Rather, the goal of this chapter is to provide a broad picture of the range of issues that thirteenth-century scholastics as a whole addressed. The Seraphic Doctor's own Commentary on the Master is representative of his era's questioning and its confrontations with specific problems, even if it is not always representative of the Parisian masters' specific conclusions (as discussions of his divergence from others will indicate). Finally, having reviewed scholastic teachings concerning the angels, the conclusion to part II (found at the end of chapter 5) discusses the Condemnations of 1277 and the reasons why the angelologies of the thirteenth-century scholastics remained unsurpassed throughout the rest of the Middle Ages. Because the Parisian scholastics investigated the minutiae of angelic existence, Rabelais parodied them, stating that they pursued foolish questions such as how many angels can dance on the head of a pin.8 For these theologians, however, the question of an angel's relationship to space was a legitimate and significant question, in part because it was interwoven with devotional concerns such as the angelic ministries. It is also important to place the scholastic treatment of the angels in its proper historical context to understand why such questions became part of the formal schooling of Christianity's leading thinkers. Then it will be possible to see how a young student's training would require him to investigate "the manner in which angels are in a place."9


O • U •R

Scholasticism and the Transformation of Angelology

The Quaestio and the New Methods of Angelology At the heart of the thirteenth-century scholastic exploration of the angelic nature lies the quaestio, a form and technique for theological investigation that had evolved over the preceding century and a half. Bonaventure's statements concerning the nature of the angels, for example, consist primarily of over eighty quaestiones in Book 2 of his Commentary on the Sentences.1 This is the form that he, Aquinas, and countless others inherited and within which they developed their ideas about the nature of the angels. It is the technique they had to master in order to become a member of the faculty of one of the schools at the University of Paris, because the quaestio had become the basic method of formal magisterial disputations. Rules for such disputations existed as early as 1215 in the statutes of Robert of Curzon, and throughout the thirteenth century formal disputations remained an important part of the faculty's responsibilities. Pierre Madonnet aptly has called such events a "tournament for the clergy."2 The quaestio transformed the theological analysis of the angels in two important respects. First, the quaestio opened up many avenues of theological speculation; it encouraged questioning, probing, analyzing. The basic form led theologians to explore questions about the nature of the angels with greater and greater depth. Second, by virtue of encouraging rational argumentation, the quaestio established a new place in the field of angelology for philosophy, logic, and reason. The development of this particular form of theological inquiry is one of the primary historical reasons for the great expansion of the field of angelology in the twelfth and thirteenth centuries. Because it is impossible to see an angel in its natural condition or to observe an angel's cognitive processes at work, the theologian can learn of the nature of the angels either from revelation or from the use of philosophical concepts and principles and analytical or discursive reasoning. Scripture, as has been seen, does not examine the nature of the angels in any detail. Thus as long as theologians remained reluctant to employ logical and philo 75



sophical tools, as they generally did throughout the early Middle Ages, their angelologies remained limited. Consequently, the use of the quaestio marks the biggest divide between the prescholastic or monastic angelology of the early medieval period and the scholastic angelology of the thirteenth century. The quaestio was central to the rise of the scholastic method itself, a "method of discovering and illustrating philosophical [and religious] truth by means of a dialectic based on Aristotelian logic."3 The idea of masters of theology publicly disputing the mysteries of Christianity through a series of quaestiones was repugnant to Bernard and his fellow conservatives.4 By contrast, dexterously employing the quaestio to dispute the nature of the angels was an important component of any scholastic's career. Thus, examining this new method and the social, economic, and intellectual conditions that brought it into prominence is essential for understanding both the origins of scholasticism's complex angelology and why such an angelology represents the culmination of medieval discussions of the nature of the angels. Bonaventure's first quaestio on the angels proper asks whether angels possess a particular quality of time.5 In other words, are angels eternal or temporal, or is there another measurement of time more appropriate for them? He first presents basic arguments in favor of one answer to the question, the fundamenta. In this case, the Seraphic Doctor draws on philosophy, Scripture, and the theological tradition to advance the idea that angels do have a time category, which is between the eternal and the temporal. Next he offers counterarguments to the fundamental, the ad oppositum. He adduces arguments from reason and theological authorities to conclude that angels either are temporal creatures or stand outside of time altogether. He then presents his own opinions and conclusion to the question, the conclusio. Angels are neither eternal nor temporal, they are aeviternal; angels have a beginning in time (and hence are not eternal), but they do not have a properly temporal nature. And finally Bonaventure presents logical, metaphysical, and theological replies to the arguments that oppose his reasoning, the solutio oppositerum. This constituted the basic form for scholastic teaching about the angels. Indeed, it was the mode by which they had been trained to think about all matters of theology. The quaestio was an argumentative, analytical, and inquisitive form which invited syllogisms. (Ironically, Aquinas argued that the angels do not use syllogisms because such reasoning was not necessary for their refined epistemological process.)6 In this sense, the quaestio was expansive; it led the scholastics to further questions, more detailed considerations, and specific chains of logic. By contrast, a glance at Saint Bernard of Clairvaux's most extensive exposition on the nature of the angels reveals that the Cistercian abbot thought about the angels in a completely different fashion from the thirteenth-century scholastics.7 Bernard, trained in a radically different system of education, did not employ anything resembling an analytical inquiry. Rather, his explanation of the angels was recitative, expository, and if anything, credal. Called "the last of the Fathers" because he was the last major theologian not to use the dialectical method, Bernard developed an angelology that was typical of the prescholastic angelologies of the early medieval period. 8 In contrast to the scholastic inquisitive procedure, Bernard offers here what appears to be a creed of angelic beliefs:



[W]e have ascertained through reading and we hold through faith that the citizens there [the heavenly Jerusalem] are powerful spirits glorious and blessed; they are distinct persons, arranged in order of dignity, established from the beginning, in their order of rank, perfect in what they are, ethereal in body, endowed with immortality, not created impassible but made so, that is by grace not nature; pure of mind, with kind disposition, devoutly pious, wholly chaste, individual but unanimous, secure in peace, formed by God and dedicated to divine praise and service.9

The structure of the phrases and clauses echoes Christological statements and the creeds of the early church. Bernard's fullest statement about the angels thus resembles a confession of faith. Employing little or no discursive reason or analysis, let alone a formal syllogism, he preferred to repeat the words of the Fathers (primarily Gregory the Great) on angels. For Bernard, proper theological reflection on the natural qualities of angels s clearly did not include academic disputation and contention. As a monk who had developed his angelology within the walls and culture of a monastery, Bernard had no reason to engage in such errant disputes. Ever since their origins in the distant sands of the Middle East, monks had sought withdrawal from the tempestuous world.10 Spiritually, secular human society remained dangerous and threatening. Only within their walls and with the careful guidance of their abbots, could the monks "fight against the temptations of thought and flesh" prepared by the devil.11 Consequently, the lives of monks centered on prayer and preparation for the carefully prescribed liturgical offices of their monasteries. The role of monks in the economy of salvation was to offer prayers and offices on behalf of humanity. By the beginning of Bernard's century the number of psalms a monk was to sing each day had increased from forty to one hundred and seventy.12 Monks remained contemplatives, fighting spiritual warfare within the confines of their monasteries. (As chapter 6 will clearly demonstrate, many monks understood themselves and their mission in terms of the angels' own lives and work.) Dialectic, so important to the scholastics, was little more than a mnemonic aid. The basic training of Bernard and his fellow monastics was essentially literary, not analytical or inquisitive. Indeed, as Bernard prepared to explicate the nature of the angels, he commented on the foolishness of speculating and forming opinions that cannot be substantiated by the authority of Scripture and/or the Fathers. Thus he firmly avoided answering the question of the natural bodies of the angels.13 The primary function of monastic studies remained the inculcation of spiritual values in a stable community of warriors of God. For the monk, the lectio divina offered preparation for participation in the offices of the monastery. Similarly, monastic education provided no formal place for the study of angelic nature and the metaphysical categories useful for exploring the topic. For Bernard, the basis of Christian wisdom and angelological reflection lay in Scripture, the creeds, liturgies, and hymns, not in dialectical reasoning. The Rule of St. Benedict, to which the Cistercians adhered as strictly as possible, expressly counseled the monk not to be contentious. Rather, he was to absorb in quiet contemplation the depths of wisdom contained in the Scriptures and the patristic tradition. Monks did not take a



vow of silence, but they did establish periods of the day for silence. Abbots were to lead their charges not by the power of their logical reasoning but by their virtuous deeds.14 By contrast, the thirteenth-century chronicler Salimbene de Adam proudly praises his fellow Franciscan, the scholar Hugh of Digne, claiming he was "the greatest at disputation, and he was prepared for all topics."15 Bernard preferred to leave the mysteries of faith as mysteries, for only then could the essential virtue of faith be properly developed. In his eyes, applying logical methods to the study of theology weakened the merit of faith; this was one of his central objections to Abelard and the scholastics.16 In his eyes, raising questions about the nature of the angels was dubious at best and possibly dangerous. By contrast, for the scholastic masters and their students, raising thorny, analytical questions about the nature of the angels was part of their professional responsibilities. Several passages of Bonaventure's Commentary on the Sentences, for example, suggest the inquisitive character of his students; many of his explanations in his conclusio seem to respond to their questions or objections.17 At stake in these divergent attitudes is the relative significance and spiritual merit of ignorance, faith, and knowledge concerning the angelic nature. In Bernard's lifetime, the monasteries ceased to be the primary centers for Christian education. Under the influence of the ongoing reform of the church, some abbots closed their monasteries to external students.18 Monasteries continued to train monks, but they were losing many of their finest recruits to the developing urban schools, particularly to the schools of Paris and their masters. Thus in 1139 the Second Lateran Council's canon 6 condemned those monks and regular canons who were neglecting their psalms and hymns and running off to learn civil law and medicine for temporal profit. In Bernard's era, monks lamenting the transformation of their world would recall the words of Jerome, that a monk's duty was to mourn, not to teach.19 As the character of theological education changed, so too did the character of angelology. The life and writings of Abelard (1079-1142), whom Bernard prosecuted at the Council of Sens in 1140, illustrates the transformation of theological education and the concomitant revolution in medieval angelology. A master first of dialectic and then theology in Paris, he had studied at a series of cathedral schools under various masters, including Roscellinus and William of Champeaux (both of whom he later attacked in disputations). Abelard's Sic et Non, written about 1122, consists of a series of quaestiones on theological topics. While many questions about the intent and importance of Abelard's Sic et Non remain, the work was extremely influential in furthering the study of the dialectical method.20 Questions 41 through 50 concern the angels; the master asks, among other things, if the angels are incorporeal, when they were created, and what their intellectual capacities might be. In addition to raising these topics simply as questions for examination, he also provides evidence from the theological tradition and Scripture to demonstrate that for each of two contradictory answers to these quaestiones strong arguments can be adduced. For Bernard, who relied so heavily on the authority of the past, topics on which the Fathers and Scripture disagreed were problematic; he resolved them by denigrating the importance of the questions themselves.21 For Abelard these disputes and contradictions were an exciting challenge; he ap-



plied the tools of dialectical reasoning to resolve the dilemmas and establish his reputation. Abelard reintroduced many angelological questions of the Fathers in such a way that he challenged subsequent theologians to engage them critically and to develop and explore the logical bases of their arguments. The difference between Bernard's and Abelard's methods is extraordinary. Angelology underwent a radical shift when it passed from the monastic to the scholastic context. The leap from Bernard to Abelard epitomized the leap from theology (or angelology) as contemplation to theology as disputation.22 Abelard and the masters who began to teach at the urban schools in the last half of the eleventh and first half of the twelfth centuries represented a new professional class and were a product of the great social and economic changes of medieval Europe.23 At the end of the eleventh and beginning of the twelfth centuries, a number of transformations and developments in agriculture, finance, travel, and trade changed what had been a gift economy into a profit economy. The thirteenth century witnessed the continued expansion of urban centers and urban education. The period from 1140 to 1250 was the era of great cathedral building by the cities of Europe. Aquinas's Paris, for example, which had been a small island community in the tenth century, numbered some eighty thousand inhabitants (of whom perhaps as many as eight thousand were students).24 As the seat of the Capetian dynasty, the location of many schools (so many that the city on the Left Bank was commonly called "the University"), and an important site on the overland trade routes from Champagne, Paris had become an important political, educational, and economic center. For both the university scholastics and the twelfth-century masters of the schools, the urban locale of their theological activity greatly altered the study of theology and the angels by transforming the very nature of intellectual activity itself. In the cities, the theological disputation so repugnant to Bernard was to become the key to survival and success. The ecclesiastical and urban developments of the late eleventh and early twelfth centuries resulted in what Alexander Murray has labeled "the psychological fact" of ambition.25 For the first time in the medieval period, masters and students recognized that they could hope to advance to positions of power, fame, and wealth through their studies in arts and theology. The Gregorian Reform of the church transformed Christian education not only by establishing the importance of literacy for all clerics but also by weakening simony as the vehicle for ecclesiastical advancement. Consequently, as the reformed church sought capable leaders, popes and bishops encouraged learning and rewarded the great masters and their successful students with offices and dignity. Within this context, magisterial disputation became a central component in the schools. As the leading theologians competed with each other, they sought to demonstrate their credentials by raising insightful questions and demonstrating their skill with the quaestio. Their disputations were often public events, drawing the attention of other masters and their students. Because intellectual competition and professional reputation remained an essential fact for scholarly careers throughout the Middle Ages and beyond, scholastics of the period continually sought to expand on the work of their predecessors and their contemporaries. Developing new insights about the nature of the angels was one part of this larger theological competition. While a friar's member-




ship in an order could guarantee his sustenance, it could not guarantee what those like Bonaventure seem to have wanted most—to remain in Paris.26 Because the Franciscan school in Paris only had one chair in theology, Bonaventure had to refine his skills impressively if he was to avoid being sent away to teach in other schools. Further, the enmity between the secular masters and the mendicants at the time of his training was so great that he must have felt enormous pressure to demonstrate theological excellence. Bonaventure wrote his Quaestiones disputatae de perfections, evangelica in response to the attacks of one of the secular masters of the university, Guillaume of Saint Amour. For the mendicants, successful disputation was necessary for corporate survival in Paris. (Because Aquinas, like Bonaventure, had his chair withheld at the university, he, too, became involved in the struggle, as shall be seen in chapter 7.) Consequently, just as the masters who began to teach in the nascent cathedral schools of the early twelfth century developed their theologies in the midst of fierce competition for students, fees, and offices, so did the scholastics formulate their complex angelology as as a way to establish the theological credentials they would need to become a master at one of the schools in Paris. As a prospective master prepared his own Commentary on the Sentences, which would have to include his own exposition of Lombard's angelology, he recognized the need to demonstrate his brilliance by transcending his predecessors and outshining his contemporaries. The psychological facts of ambition and competition underscore the psychological fact of the quaestio; scholars had to think in terms of arguments pro and contra and responsiones if they hoped to attract students and receive monetary and social rewards. Scholars had to develop skills in disputation and they had to develop original ideas and syntheses about topics such as the nature of the angels. Precisely because their reputation and hopes for academic advancement rested on their ability to manipulate the quaestio to illuminate theological topics, their angelologies raised many questions, as they disputed with scriptural, theological, and philosophical authorities and sought to establish new and distinctive arguments. This pattern of angelological investigation does not in any way contradict the fact that men such as Bonaventure and Aquinas explored the nature of the angels out of respect both for the spirits of heaven and for their theological predecessors. It does help explain why theological questions such as the nature of the angels became more and more refined and detailed in the course of the twelfth and thirteenth centuries. In addition to the changes in society and theological education, the early twelfth century witnessed new additions to the pedagogical canon that exerted a determinative effect on the development of the quaestio and the concomitant expansion of the study of angelology. In particular, in the century of Bernard of Clairvaux, new works of Aristotle arrived in translations, and the masters of the new urban schools were eager to utilize the logical and analytical writings of the Philosopher, a man who was said to be the "most perspicacious of all."27 The Old Logic of Aristotle (the Categories and the Peri Hermeneias) had been available for several centuries through the translations and commentary of Boethius, but it had made little impact in the monastic schools. A monk who was to recite psalms, contemplate the Scriptures, and pray for the dead had little need for logic. Toward




the end of the eleventh century, however, theologians began to explore the tools of logic and apply them to theological problems, including problems concerning angels. In his Cur Deus Homo, for example, Anselm of Canterbury (1033-1109) explores the mysteries of the Incarnation and the economy of salvation with the aid of dialectical reasoning. In the process, he raises several questions about the angels, humanity's relationship to them, and their capacity to redeem mortals. As the social and economic world of medieval Europe transformed into an urbanizing, profit economy, such analytical procedures became more important.28 The rise of the nonfeudal urban classes, particularly of merchants and lawyers, people trained in professions that focused on administration, communication, and persuasion, transformed education by providing an environment that required new methods and new pedagogical techniques. The most important feature of the new masters' educational program was the ability to develop rational arguments. The schools prepared their students for competing in various fields, such as law, theology, and business, which required them to be persuasive. As a consequence, training in logical and dialectical reasoning assumed primary importance. As masters themselves discovered that they, too, had to compete for students and fees, the demonstration of the masters' intellectual virtuosity became an essential element of their theological agenda. (Individual monks, of course, who received the necessities of life from their landed and endowed monasteries, never faced such competition; although many abbots faced financial crises, the solutions to their dilemmas would not come from academic disputations.)29 In such a context, the logical and analytical writings of the Philosopher were more than welcome. As they were translated, the texts quickly became a part of the pedagogy of Latin Christendom. One of the earliest surviving documents for the University of Paris prescribed both the Old and New Logic (which included the Prior and Posterior Analytics, the Topics, and the Sophistic Refutations) as a formal part of the curriculum.30 The change produced by the incorporation of Aristotelian logic into the curriculum was a change not only of method but also of attitude. The first sentence of the Topics suggests the nearly limitless potential that Aristotle's New Logic was to represent: Our treatise proposes to find a line of inquiry whereby we shall be able to reason from opinions that are generally accepted about every problem propounded to us, and also shall ourselves, when standing up to an argument, avoid saying anything that will obstruct us.31

By contrast, when discussing the angels, Bernard declares, "Now we prefer to know nothing more than that which we already know by faith."32 The Philosopher's declaration excites the mind and the imagination far more than the abbot's conservative warnings ever could. In this new social context and with the aid of the Philosopher, the masters of the urban cathedral schools thus began to develop the quaestio. Originally an aid to a traditional lectio, the quaestio evolved by 1145 from a simple "question" that arose in the course of a reading from Scripture to a form with its own independent status.33 Quaestiones could be problems that came from ambiguities in the original text of a lectio or from divergent opinions of the theological (i.e., patristic)




tradition. Theological matters could now be disassociated from a particular passage of Scripture or a patristic text. Questioning itself now had an independent status; in the middle of the thirteenth century, the University of Paris formalized the freedom to question independently of a text or course by establishing the quaestio de quodlibet. Quodlibetal questions were disputes held at certain times of the year (usually near Christmas and Easter). At these gatherings, the presiding master would allow the students, bachelors, and masters of the audience to raise whatever questions they wished. The quaestio was ideal for the urban environment of the schools because it trained students in the development of rational arguments and made possible an educational system with the capacity for precise, logical reasoning. The emerging world of merchants and lawyers could hardly have been better served. Ultimately, the scholastics' use of logical methods and ideas led to the question of the possibility of a natural angelology. Could humans, unenlightened by the revelation of Scripture, aided only by the use of their native faculties, arrive at a knowledge of the spirits of heaven? In asking if human reason can know of the angels apart from the authority of Scripture and the Fathers, the transformation from monastic to scholastic methods was complete. For Bernard, reliant as he was on the authority of Scripture, such a question was inconceivable. For the scholastics of Paris, the question was a logical part of an angelological agenda that placed such importance on rational inquiry and logical demonstration. Moreover, because of the dangers raised by the Latin Averroists, orthodox theologians had to define clearly the boundaries of natural angelology. In his Summa Contra Gentiles 3.41-45, Aquinas, for example, while admitting to some philosophical knowledge of the celestial spirits, nevertheless rejects the philosophers' claims to be able to know separate substances in this life (or to be able to enjoy ultimate happiness because of such knowledge). Bonaventure, too, admitted the possibility that the human mind can arrive at some knowledge of the angels without the aid of Scripture. Both Christian wisdom and pagan learning had discerned, for example, that the higher spirits illuminate the intellects of human beings. Over one thousand years previously, Clement of Alexandria had argued similarly that the angels were responsible for the pagan philosophers' correct ideas about the deity and the universe; both Bonaventure and Clement used the ministry of the angels as a way of understanding how non-Christians can arrive at Christian truths.34 (The Seraphic Doctor's arguments here depend on his own particular doctrine of illumination and the roles of angels in this process, a complex set of doctrines beyond the immediate scope of this chapter. Chapter 9, however, does examine the role of angels in illumination.)35 The philosophers' demonstrations of the existence of the separated intelligences had depended on their reflections on the motions of the planets. Bonaventure, for theological not philosophical reasons, confirms that Aristotle had correctly discerned that angels do indeed move the heavenly spheres. But at the same time, he also affirms that the philosophers have erred in reckoning the number of the angels by the number of spheres or heavenly motions. While natural knowledge can arrive at some facts concerning the angels, on the whole, those unenlightened by revelation will be likely to produce primarily "insanities and controversies."36 For Bonaventure, the major gulf between Christian wisdom and pagan



philosophy is the latter's complete ignorance of the purpose of creation. The reason God created the spirits of heaven was not to move the spheres but to enjoy the beatific vision. Without this knowledge of God's plan for the universe, philosophers inevitably reach erroneous conclusions about the intelligences of heaven.37 Whereas the motions of the planets had been a basis for the philosophers' knowledge that the spirits of heaven existed, Bonaventure himself demonstrates their existence from his understanding of the perfection of the universe. Even though he knows that angels exist because Scripture has revealed their presence, the Seraphic Doctor is able to offer a further proof for the existence of the angels based on his idea of what is most suitable for the universe God created. The universe must be composed of purely spiritual creatures (angels), purely corporeal creatures (the material creation), and creatures that are a composite of spiritual and corporeal natures (human beings). Thus Bonaventure concludes that the existence of the angels "is required" (reqwiritur).38 This proof is not a priori absolutely conclusive and undeniable. Rather, it successfully demonstrates the existence of the angels according to reasoned reflections on the nature of creation a posteriori. Aquinas's argument for "proving" the existence of the angels was slightly different, but it, too, appealed to the perfection of the universe. (Theologians had learned to be more circumspect in their claims to proofs based on plenitude and perfection in part as the result of the controversy aroused by Abelard's argument that the goodness and fullness of God's creative power required God to abstain from preventing evils; such a conclusion both makes God complicit in evil and restricts His freedom.)39 The existence of the angels and the perfection of the universe were inseparable. By developing a natural angelology, the scholastics signaled that they had revolutionized the study of the angels. Angelology as a distinct science had become a part of a theologian's professional task. The maturation of this science, however, also required that theologians become more interested in the natural aspects of the angels. The same transformations that produced the development of the quaestio also generated a renewed study of natural phenomena. As theologians studied nature more vigorously, they pursued the nature of angels more tenaciously. The Renewed Interest in Nature and Metaphysics Christian theologians have contemplated the mysterious natural features and characteristics of the angels from the earliest times.40 It seems that, if for no other reason, simple human curiosity would lead thinkers to speculate on what these creatures might be like. Revelation states that these creatures exist, are God's messengers, and help humans overcome the disastrous consequences of the fall. As noted in part I, Christian theologians have recognized an obligation to examine these enigmatic creatures. Just as tiny, stone angels filled the spandrels of medieval churches and cathedrals, angels permeated the medieval cosmos, and in the thirteenth century, angelologists were much like modern natural scientists, methodically exploring the biological aspects of the angel, one of the most marvelous creatures of the universe.



The same social and economic transformations that facilitated the development of the quaestio also generated a renewed desire to study the nature of things. The increase in the interest in nature and natural phenomena in the late eleventh and early twelfth centuries has been well studied. Whereas the monastic worldview had seen natural events and natural causes primarily as "symbols or occasions of grace," the new worldview discovered an "autonomous" realm for nature.41 The social and economic transformations of the era produced a set of conditions that led many Christians, especially the scholastics, to think rationally about nature for the first time in many centuries. As society's old feudal structures and institutions began to seem inadequate to the members of new social groups (particularly the new urban classes), men and women began to explore questions of human society and religion from the ground up, beginning with human nature and human society. Thus, the early twelfth century witnessed people thinking about nature in new ways, probing the properties of human beings, plants, and rocks with scientific or protoscientific interests. For example, there was greater interest in the medical properties of herbs and stones. For these people, nature now constituted a realm which under the application of properly applied reason could be exploited for human well-being. Even in the field of exegesis, instead of explaining events by appealing to the miraculous intervention of God, people now explored the natural causes of events. Andrew of Saint Victor's remark is typical: "[I]n expounding Scripture, when the event described admits of no natural explanation, then and then only should we have recourse to miracles."42 Similarly, the artists and craftsmen of the period displayed a greater interest in depicting subjects selected from the natural world. The term "supernatural" itself arose only in the thirteenth century in order to "accommodate an old idea of the divine in terms of a new idea of nature."43 As the problems of nature became more pervasive in twelfth-century thought as a result of the "new equilibrium between nature and grace," so too would theologians consider afresh the questions surrounding the nature of the angels.44 What was the natural condition of the angels? How were angels created? What kind of knowledge 'did they have? Indeed, how would an angel know anything if it were devoid of sensory organs? Could they have known the consequences of their first act? How would God's completion of the angels through grace affect their original nature? As Hugh of Saint Victor observes, the "curiosity of the human mind" is unable to rest from such questions.45 To investigate such problems was to inquire into the nature of the most sublime of God's creatures, to inquire into the height of God's creative act. By understanding the existence of the highest of creatures, theologians explored the limits of the cosmos. In this sense, medieval angelology is analogous also to modern astronomy. Indeed, because the Middle Ages inherited the link between celestial spirits and the movement of the heavens (as discussed in chapter i), medieval angelology was a crucial element of medieval astronomy. Not only did theologians explore such limits, they also argued that as the summit of the creation, the angelic order's characteristics were both descriptively and prescriptively a model for the world. The natural and moral laws that governed



the angels also permeated the rest of the creation, such that when Innocent IV composed a letter to the Mongols to admonish them to cease their attacks on other peoples (especially Christians), he cited the lawful, ordained order and peaceful stability of the heavenly choirs as part of his justification. All of creation is composed "after the manner of the celestial spirits," and thus the Mongol assaults were a violation of the composition of the "elements of the world machine."46 As with Aquinas's discussion of separated substances in his Summa Contra Gentiles, appeals to philosophy, natural laws, or a natural angelology assisted Christians seeking to engage non-Christians in apologetic or political contexts. Again, the contrast with the monastic approach to nature is striking. For a monk, the question of considering a creature in terms of its essential nature would have been unusual, indeed alien. Following Augustine, monastic thought diminished the role of nature to emphasize the importance of grace.47 Nature, for the monastics, was a topic that aroused tears riot speculation and curiosity. In contrast to the artistic rendering of natural beasts and plants that decorated the Gothic cathedrals, the art of the Romanesque worldview of the monastics of the early Middle Ages was replete with "monstrous visions" of spiritual judgment.48 Consequently, Bernard of Clairvaux's examination of the questions of the angelic nature remained quite limited. As noted earlier, he did indeed consider the basic questions of the angels in se (questions pertaining to their natural intellectual, emotional, spatial, and substantial characteristics), but his considerations remained brief and almost completely devoid of metaphysics. Angels were relevant for Bernard because of their roles in the soteriological drama, not because their nature was intrinsically a topic for consideration, and in this regard, he was in continuity with most patristic theologians. The Fathers themselves had shown a much greater interest in the moral than in the natural characteristics of the heavenly choirs.49 According to Benedict's Rule, angels act as God's eyes and ears, informing God of the failings of monks.50 This was the aspect of the angels that concerned monks the most, not the angelic nature. Thus, Bernard's discussions of the nature of the angels arose primarily for devotional or practical purposes. For example, he investigated the nature of angelic locomotion in the context of his praise of the Virgin. For thirteenth-century scholastics, the question of the locomotion of the angels was a legitimate question in its own right, as Aquinas's methodological exploration of this subject suggests.51 Bernard displayed no interest in an analysis of the "subtlety of nature and substance" that the angels possess.52 By contrast, in Quaestio 49 of his Sic et Non, Abelard presents the distinction between the office and the nature of the angels. For Abelard and the new scholastics, the distinction between spiritual vocation and natural condition was a significant topic for exploration. And for the scholastics, both the vocational and natural aspects of the angels required theological study. Not only did twelfth-century masters display an increased interest in the nature of the angels, they also displayed a new interest in the application of metaphysical and philosophical categories. Augustine had been familiar with the Neoplatonic thought of Plotinus, but such familiarity with Neoplatonic thought in the early medieval period was rare (here, as on many other topics, John Scotus Eriugena was the exception). In the twelfth century certain Platonic and Neoplatonic texts



began to be translated and commented on in Latin Christendom.53 In the writings of the pagan philosophers, theologians discovered creatures such as "intelligences" and "spirits" that seemed to correspond to Christian angels. Further, as discussed in chapter 3, the writings of Pseudo-Dionyisus, although available since the ninth century, now began to be widely studied. Because he himself had used both "angels" and "intelligences," it seemed licit to most theologians to interpret the philosophers' "intelligences" in terms of the angels of Scripture. In the first half of the twelfth century, for example, the attempt to harmonize the creation account of Genesis with the Timaeus led William of Conches and Hugh of Saint Victor to something of an extended debate on the creation and, as a consequence, a discussion of the angels' participation in and/or shared knowledge of the essences of the created world.54 By the thirteenth century, the philosophical categories and framework for natural and metaphysical speculation were primarily Aristotelian, as the wealth of commentaries on Aristotle's texts indicates. This genre of texts constituted another formal occasion for scholastics to reflect on the metaphysics of angels. By reading the Philosopher's writings and the commentaries of his Arabian translators, theologians confronted a new series of categories and problems for the angels. Even though Albertus Magnus did not agree with this equation of angels and intelligences (intelligences, Aquinas's mentor argued, were seen as necessary emanations from the Godhead, whereas God had in fact created the angels freely, without any metaphysical necessity), both he and his pupil drew upon the pagan writings on intelligences as they developed their angelologies. Because of the importance of nature and natural processes (especially epistemology) and the prominence of metaphysical categories in these philosophical texts, many theologians who read such texts employed the Greeks' and Arabians' concepts as they developed their angelologies.55 As Aquinas's Summa Contra Gentiles, Bonaventure's Collationes in Hexaemeron, and twelfth-century commentaries on Plato's Timaeus all reveal, at times such investigations were also to help defend Christian angels against those, both Christian and non-Christian, who preferred the pagan intelligences. This threat would come to be so intense that certain propositions about separated substances were denounced in the Condemnations of 1277. One of the reasons why Bonaventure serves as a useful heuristic figure for this study is that his career coincided with significant changes in the university's requirements. When he arrived in Paris as a student of the arts in 1235, he joined a university that was continuing the process of the assimilation of Aristotle into the curriculum.56 When he left his teaching post in 1257, the writings of Aristotle had come to dominate the curriculum. The time of his studying and teaching in Paris witnessed the triumph of the Philosopher. From about 1150 to sometime near 1270, all of the works of Aristotle became available in the West. The university's statutes of 1254 preserve the required readings for the A.B. and A.M., suggesting what would have constituted a young scholastic's reading material.57 The works listed there that formed scholastic discussions of the angelic nature in their Commentaries on the Sentences are the Posterior Analytics, the Topics, the Physics, On the Heavens and the Earth, On the Soul, On Sleep and Waking, and the Metaphysics. These works of Aristotle, therefore, constituted a framework that would



shape the thirteenth-century understanding of the nature of the angels. In addition, the revived study of metaphysics also led the scholastics to mine the writings of Augustine for his metaphysical ideas. Thus, although Bonaventure remained heavily influenced by Aristotle and his commentators, he labels Augustine the "highest of metaphysicians."58 Bernard had read the bishop of Hippo, too, but he did not laud him as a metaphysician. The arrival of Aristotle led theologians to emphasize a different aspect of the Augustinian legacy. The translations of the Greek philosophical texts and the Arabian commentaries on them introduced not only new philosophical concepts but also a new metaphysical system. Those twelfth-century theologians who listened to the Aristotle they had received utilized only the available concepts of genus, species, essence, substance, and relation. By contrast, thirteenth-century scholastics inherited new concepts and problems such as the theory of active and passive intellects, the distinctions between essence and existence, and the problem of hylomorphism (the doctrine that all creatures, even angels, are composed of both matter and form). Gordon Leff summarizes the difference between twelfth- and thirteenthcentury philosophical hardware: Questions of the relation of a being's form or general nature—humanity—to the individual man or tree in which it was embodied were treated in purely logical and psychological terms of the difference between genus, species, and individual and the way the mind grasped them. The manner in which a form or nature inhered in a material subject was not broached. This had to await knowledge of the structure of being, together with the metaphysical categories of form and matter, potentiality and act, which sought to explain being.59

So pervasive had such metaphysical questions become that Pope Urban IV debated the question of the eternity of matter as he dined, and Dante explored hylomorphism in the Paradise.60 Each of these questions directly or indirectly influenced angelology, for as the concepts or problems explored the nature of being itself, they were bound to compel theologians to reconsider the being of the highest of the creatures. Scholastic angelology, so heavily imbued with Aristotelian concepts, would not have been recognizable by Saint Bernard. Before proceeding to a consideration of specific scholastic teachings on the angelic nature, however, it is necessary to consider the third fundamental change in angelology wrought by the twelfth and thirteenth centuries—the transformation of angelology from an ad hoc topic to a formal part of the theological curriculum. Augustine had stated that he could be "without blame" if he did not explore the intricacies of angelology.61 For Aquinas, Bonaventure, and their thirteenthcentury colleagues, the field of angelology was a required element of their training. The Sentences and the Professional Study of Angels In his Breviloquium, Bonaventure begins his discussion of the angels, "In proper sequence, our next topic is the spiritual, incorporeal nature, that is, the nature of the angels."62 His use of the phrase "in proper sequence" suggests that the consideration of angelic nature was no longer an ad hoc theological topic, as it had been



for Bernard, but rather a subject with a clearly defined place in theology. The transformation in theological education and method that enshrined angelology in a set place in systematic theology occurred in the first half of the twelfth century. In particular, around the middle of that century Peter Lombard composed his Sentences, which systematically surveyed all of Christian doctrine including the angels.63 This textbook increased in importance over the following decades, and by the early thirteenth century it was incorporated into the official study of theology in Paris. As this book became a standard part of the curriculum, investigations of the subtle nature of the angels also became a formal part of every theology student's training. Again, the Seraphic Doctor's experiences were typical. According to the procedures of the university, from 1250 to 1252, as a Bachelor of the Sentences, Bonaventure read the Sentences cursorie (providing only a brief commentary on each section) to younger students.64 From 1252 through 1255, as a Formed Bachelor (bacculareus formatus), he read the Master's work "ordinarily," providing extensive commentary as he read (which served as the basis for the final text of his Commentary). In each of these readings, he entered into a dialogue with Lombard's ideas on the nature of the angels. Thus, as a student of the theology faculty and a future master, Bonaventure, like the rest of his colleagues, simply had no choice but to examine questions of the nature of the angels. Examining the evolution of angelology from an occasional topic to a formal topic will illuminate the ways in which scholastic angelology represents the culmination of medieval angelology. At the beginning of the twelfth century, theology itself had yet to develop a tradition of comprehensive, systematic pedagogy, and the topic of angels had found a decisive place only in the field of biblical exegesis and sermons. Prior to the twelfth century, monks or theologians would consider angels as they appeared in Scripture, and usually these considerations remained limited to an elaboration of ministerial roles of the angels. Consequently, prior to the rise of scholasticism, theological discussions of angelic nature—their personhood, their "bodies," their spiritual nature, and other topics—generally remained brief. In Augustine's Enchirdion, his handbook of theology, angels merit only short discussions (chapters 57—59), and at times, as noted previously, the bishop of Hippo seems quite ambivalent about the value of an elaborate angelology. Because he sees the heavenly hierarchy as the exemplary model for the ecclesiastical hierarchy, Bernard discusses the nature of the angels in the On Consideration.65 Here, the papal office and its duties over the church has elicited his reflections on the nature of the angels. In his Sermons on the Song of Songs, he discusses the nature of the angels in order to clarify the nature of God. Because the Song of Songs itself begins with, "Let him kiss me with the kiss of his mouth," Bernard's first consideration of God is the nature of God's kiss and His mouth. As Bernard distinguishes between spiritual and corporeal natures and spiritual and corporeal attributes, he discovers that comparing the divine spirit with angelic, human, and animal spirits is useful.66 For the Cistercian, considerations of the angelic nature remained completely subordinated to specific devotional needs. (As shall be seen, the scholastics linked their speculations to the spiritual needs of the faithful as well; for them, however, such spiritual needs included more complex angelological reflections.) Thus, as Ber-



nard surveys the possible answers to the difficult questions about angelic bodies, he writes, I do not want you to ask me about these things. ... I admit that I do not know which of all these views I might teach. But a knowledge of these topics would not add much to a monk's progress.67 Because questions of angelic nature are not on his formal theological agenda, his statements about angels have an ad hoc quality. They are certainly not systematic or formally structured. As theology moved from the monastery to the university, angelology moved from the occasional to the formal. A master's students, for example, expected him to have answers available for the questions about the bodies of the angels. They also knew precisely in what context their master would explore these questions— namely, in his commentaty on 3 and 8 of Book II of Peter Lombard's Sentences. Peter Lombard's Four Books of the Sentences (completed, probably, 1155-58) sought to provide students of theology with a textbook to aid in their study of Scripture and doctrine. The use of a textbook was itself an innovation in medieval theology. The immediate need for a textbook and a formal course in theology (as opposed to Scriptute) came from the fact that masters such as Hugh of Saint Victor, Abelard, and Robert Pullen discovered that their students were not receiving the systematic presentation of doctrine and theology that was a prerequisite for correct and authoritative allegorical readings of Scripture.68 As the masters raised more difficult quaestiones, they discovered that in order to illuminate and answer their own questions, they needed to develop a systematic pedagogical tool. Hugh himself responded to the need with his own De Sacramentis (which, as is to be expected, does contain a section on angelology), but it was Peter Lombard's Sentences that became the fundamental textbook for theological education. Even if theologians disagreed with the Master of the Sentences, they had to confront his agenda. In the centuries following Lombard's death, Alexander of Hales, Albertus Magnus, Bonaventure, Aquinas, Duns Scotus, William of Ockham, Jean Gerson, and Martin Luther delivered commentaries on the Sentences. Theologians continued to read and respond to Lombard even into the middle of the seventeenth century, and all of these Christian thinkers thus examined the nature of the angels with his guidance. In a sense, therefore, the history of angelology in the thirteenth and fourteenth centuries and beyond is the history of the commentaries on the Sentences. Understanding how and why Lombard's system became so successful (and hence to understand the nature of its impact) requires a comparison with the work of one of his immediate predecessors, Robert Pullen (ca. io8o-ii46).69 Robert Pullen, the first English cardinal, taught at Oxford from 1133 to 1138 and at Paris from 1142 to 1144 (perhaps replacing Hugh of Saint Victor) before being promoted to papal chancellor (the last pope he served was Eugene III). He had faced the same set of problems and issues as Lombard, yet his textbook, the Sententiarum Libri Octo (completed presumably while lecturing at the cathedral school in Paris) was not to endure. Because they lacked the kind of close integration seen in Lombard's Sentences, Pullen's Sentences, while comprehensive and somewhat struc-



tured, were not able to survive many decades of theological speculation. Discussions of sin, for example, are scattered throughout the work; to understand what Pullen means by sin, therefore, requires a great deal of Cross-checking and searching. Such loose organization could not serve as a fundamental text for theological education. This disjointed approach manifested itself in his teachings on angels. In Book II, he discusses the angelic fall and confirmation; in Book VI, he discusses the ministrations of the three archangels and the nine orders.70 The discussions lack coherence, and it is not entirely clear how his angelology might form a part of his overall systematic scheme. (In his Summa Theologiae, Aquinas separates his discussion of the angels, too, though the relationships between the parts are far more clear.) In contrast to Pullen, Lombard's arrangement of his textbook was clear and accessible. He divided the books of his study into: (i) the Trinity; (2) the creation and sin; (3) the Incarnation and the virtues; and (4) the sacraments and the last things. This plan ultimately derives, via Isidore's Sentences, from the Apostle's Creed.71 In this structure, in part as a result of the twelfth-century controversies over the Neoplatonic and scriptural accounts of creation, angels come to receive what is viewed as their proper location in Book II. Because of their creation at the beginning of time and because of their venerable status as creatures closest to God, angels possess a clear place at the beginning of the exposition of the created order. Not only because of the angels' presence throughout Scripture but also because of their presence in Lombard, theologians could not avoid the angels. The outline of angelological topics treated by Lombard in his Sentences is as follows: The creation of the angels The precise timing of the creation of the angels Where the angels were created The qualities of the angels at their creation (including questions of angelic metaphysics) The fall and confirmation of the angels The location and powers of the fallen angels The attributes (cognitive, moral, and physical) of angels and demons The corporeality of angels and demons The angelic hierarchies The ministrations of the angels to humans Guardian angels Lombard's survey of topics, while not exhaustive, certainly is thorough and well-integrated with the rest of this theology. There is no need to repeat here the extensive, valuable work that Marcia L. Colish has already done on the angelology of Lombard and his contemporaries; readers will be well-served by her detailed examinations. What is important for the purposes of this overview is to see how this nascent angelology by Lombard helped give rise to the culmination of medieval angelology in the subsequent century. For the first time in the history of angelic speculation, Christians possessed an organized, systematic, and near-comprehensive treatment of the angels and their nature. (Pseudo-Dionysius's Celestial Hierarchy was the first treatise solely dedicated to the topic of angels, but it was far




from a thorough or systematic exposition.) The Master moves systematically from topic to topic, beginning with the creation and ending with the functions of the angels. He integrates the texts of various Florilegia, Scripture, and other theological authorities into a coherent framework. Whereas exploring Augustine's or Bernard's investigation of the angelic nature required references to several texts, examining the angelological views of the Master or any of his commentators required reference to only one. By virtue of its coherence and its lack of development in many areas, Lombard's angelological framework provided an agenda for future considerations of the angelic nature that was wide open for further elaboration. The first portions of Book II of the Sentences provided the framework within which a theologian could raise new questions, particularly the questions generated by the increasingly refined study of Aristotle. As a student of theology at the Franciscan school, Bonaventure encountered the Sentences through the teaching of his mentor, Alexander of Hales, who had helped establish the reading of the Sentences as part of the formal curriculum of the university. Toward the end of the first quarter of the thirteenth century, Alexander wrote a Gloss on Lombard's Sentences, and following his master, Bonaventure himself prefaced his commentaries on each distinctio with a divisio textus (which distinguished between the various quaestiones Bonaventure raised in the course of his reading.)72 The importance of Alexander's use of the Sentences for academic angelology can be seen by comparing the Sentences with the Speculum Speculationum of Alexander Nequam (1157-1217). This text, apparently written from lectures delivered in Paris (ca. 1175-82), reveals that even then, scholastic angelology could remain loose and unstructured.73 Nequam's topics are occasional and unsystematic, and he moves haphazardly from one observation to the next. Only with the incorporation of the Sentences does angelology in Paris become coherent and systematic. That prospective masters of theology had to deliver commentaries on the Sentences meant that theologians would have a professional incentive to explore in greater and greater depth the questions raised by the Master's text. An ambitious theologian could not simply repeat what Lombard had stated, rather he had to delve deeper, probe more tenaciously, and reason more accurately than not only Lombard but also other commentators if he were to establish himself as a leading theologian. Lombard's text thus provided the scholastics with a formal occasion for angelology by presenting a coherent structure for discussing the nature of the angels that was open to new categories and concepts. There seems to have been at least one casualty in this process of formalizing thirteenth-century academic angelology. Because of the use of the Sentences, the subject of Michael all but disappeared from formal theological studies. Previously, Michael and the archangels had been a major focus of theological speculation on angels. Both Nequam and Robert Pullen, for example, included discussions of the importance of the archangel Michael in their academic works.74 But because Lombard addressed only the bare meaning of Michael's name, the professional angelologists of the thirteenth century who were trained through his work hardly explored any aspects of the archangel in their academic treatises. Lombard touched on the meanings of the names Michael, Gabriel, and Raphael in Sentences, II, d. 10, c. 2, and the archangels hardly appear in Bonaventure's Commentary on the



Sentences or Aquinas's Summa Theologiae. The Seraphic Doctor himself did address many questions about Michael, but he did so in different contexts, especially in his Sermons on Angels. The university's use of the Sentences concentrated the scholastics' attention on specific aspects of the angels. Lombard's text proved sufficient for the exploration of the angelic nature, but Michael was no longer a subject for professional angelological discourse.

The twelfth century thus exercised a decisive influence on medieval angel^SS^ology by providing theologians with the quaestio, a formal method of probing the veracity of theological propositions; by raising new questions of angelic nature and metaphysics; and by presenting to the scholastics the Sentences, an authoritative framework for angelology. Together, the three produced a new attitude toward investigations of the angels. Whereas Bernard had set definite limits to the exploration of angelic questions, certain twelfth- and most thirteenth-century theologians displayed a sense of confidence and optimism about angelological exploration. In this boldness and in the extraordinary depth of their investigations, the angelologies developed by these scholastics represent the flowering of medieval angelology.

F • I • V•E

The Angelic Nature in the Thirteenth Century The Flowering of Medieval Angelology

An examination of Bonaventure's Commentary on the Sentences will help reveal the full range of angelological questions that all prospective masters of the thirteenth century had to confront. The Seraphic Doctor's work is employed here not because he was the most outstanding angelologist but because his work is typical. As will be seen in comparing his teachings with others, on some doctrines he expresses a consensus view, but on others his viewpoint is more particularly Franciscan. Supplementing the Seraphic Doctor's discussions will be considerations of other scholastic writings, primarily Aquinas's Summa Theologiae and his Summa Contra Gentiles. The former exhibits a greater range of angelological speculation, while the latter demonstrates how angelology could be part of Christianity's engagement with the non-Christian world. Neither text, however, is as typical of the Parisian masters' experiences as is the Commentary. The scholastic treatment of angels is the most well-studied of aspect of Christianity's doctrines and practices concerning the celestial spirits, and this chapter will not therefore examine the history of particular doctrines or make extensive comparisons between angelologists. Such work has already been done by Marcia L. Colish, J. D. Collins, Etienne Gilson, and others. Rather, the basic teachings of the scholastics will be presented and examined so that it will be possible to see how these doctrines form part of the complete tapestry of medieval angelology. As will be seen, the scholastics' explorations of the angels were not at all separated from the devotional significance of the angels (a subject examined in detail in parts III and IV of this study). Hylomorphism: Are Angels Composed of Form and Matter? The examination of the nature of the angels, as Bonaventure presents it in his Commentary on the Sentences, begins with a consideration of the metaphysical bases of angelic existence. The assertion that all creatures, even spirits, are composed of both form and matter (the doctrine of hylomorphism) stands at the heart 93




of the Seraphic Doctor's understanding of the angelic nature. Both in his earliest scholastic work, the Commentary on the Sentences, and in his final theological synthesis, the Collationes in Hexaemeron, hylomorphism represents a cornerstone of Bonaventure's entire metaphysics of angelology. The use of hylomorphism in Hexaemeron 4.6-13 suggests the extent to which Bonaventure was committed to this doctrine. In his work on the Sentences, he developed his ideas on form and matter in response to a formal requirement of the university, but in the Hexaemeron, he was free to touch on any topics whatsoever. The Collationes in Hexaemeron contains his response to the problems of Latin Averroism, which he felt were plaguing the university, and hence his use of hylomorphism in this text reveals that he saw the doctrine as an essential element of proper Christian theological and philosophical reflection. Because Aquinas sees this metaphysics as fundamentally mistaken, he begins his examination of the angels with his objections to it.1 Hence, it is fitting to begin an analysis of scholastic views of the angelic nature with an exposition of the argument that angels are, in some sense, "material." Modern scholars have studied carefully medieval views on hylomorphism for three reasons.2 First, hylomorphism is a doctrine that is a fundamental element of metaphysics. To the extent that theologians or philosophers remain interested in pursuing questions that pertain to "being" itself, the question of whether all creatures are composed of matter and form remains important. Second, because Aquinas (who attacked this doctrine in several texts, arguing that angels are pure form) and Bonaventure disagreed on this very important matter, both NeoThomists and Bonaventureans have examined their respective teachings with great dedication, each side seeking to defend its own medieval doctor. Perhaps no other question concerning angels has been so critically examined in the modern period as this particular question. Even in the medieval period, the problems of form and matter were so important that Dante considers the question in the Paradise.3 Third, and perhaps most important, Aquinas's teachings on angelic matter and form were attacked in the Condemnations of 1277; a number of modern scholars have sought subsequently to exonerate his ideas about angels, form, and matter.4 The belief that all creatures are composed of form and matter found its first major proponent in Avicebron (ca. io2o-ca. 1070).5 While certain texts of Augustine (which Bonaventure used) suggest that he himself believed in some sort of spiritual matter, the Jewish philosopher in his Fons Vitae seems to have been the first to integrate the idea of the universal composition of form and matter into a full metaphysical system. While Aristotle had never proposed that spiritual substances contained matter, his metaphysical categories and framework led Avicebron to this conclusion. Johannes Hispanus and Dominicus Gundissalinus translated this text into Latin in the twelfth century, and thereafter, the hylomorphic doctrine gradually became a part of scholastic thinking until Aquinas assaulted it in the third quarter of the thirteenth century. The acceptance of Pseudo-Dionysius's belief that angels are neither aethereal nor corporeal in any way meant that angels and hylomorphism would collide. While Hugh of Saint Victor might affirm the immateriality of angels without engaging the problem of hylomorphism, the scholastics of the subsequent century would find that the two doctrines could not be separated.6



The immediate source for Bonaventure's own thinking on this question is fairly clear. His mentor, Alexander of Hales, had taught that spiritual matter existed. Bonaventure never refers to Avicebron in any of his writings, and his direct knowledge of his teachings remains uncertain.7 Alexander himself seems to have arrived at the doctrine of hylomorphism between the composition of his Glossa on Lombard's Sentences (written between 1220 and 1225) and the writing of his Summa Theologica (written before his death in 1245). The former work contains no reference to the hylomorphic doctrine, while the latter does provide his conclusion that all creatures are composed of matter and form.8 It is not surprising that Bonaventure followed his master on this issue. He seems to have understood himself as a disciple of Alexander, a man whom later Franciscan chroniclers remembered as the finest scholar in the world.9 Not only was Bonaventure the seventh successor to Saint Francis as their order's minister general, but as holder of the Franciscan chair in theology, he was also the fourth successor to Alexander of Hales. In several places, Bonaventure refers to Alexander as "master" and "father." The Seraphic Doctor saw himself as being fully in continuity with his mentor's work.10 But whereas Alexander's discussion of the doctrine is brief and relatively undeveloped, Bonaventure's is quite refined and intricate. That the subsequent generation's debate about hylomorphism is so much more detailed and argumentative suggests the extent to which hylomorphism had become an important and controversial doctrine within a few decades. While Alexander's teaching influenced him directly, it is Peter Lombard's treatment of the angelic nature that provides the specific context for Bonaventure's exploration of hylomorphism. The proposition from which Bonaventure begins is Lombard's statement that angels have a "simple essence."11 Bonaventure's elaboration of this question is a perfect example of how Lombard's text provided a formal occasion for subsequent angelological developments. The Master of the Sentences' own treatment of the angelic nature is quite brief, and he does not really explore what the phrase "simple essence" means, other than to say that angels are "indivisible and immaterial." Bonaventure rigorously applies the new Aristotelian metaphysical tools to the question of what it might mean to have a simple essence. For him, the problem is not a question of defining the simplicity or the indivisibility of the angelic nature; he examines the question from the other perspective—how does a theologian account for spatial, intellectual, volitional, or other changes and in a creature as subtle as an angel? Thus the first question he asks in the context of Lombard's simple essence strikes at the very heart of the issue: "It is therefore first asked whether angels are composed of diverse natures, that is out of matter and form."12 In traditional quaestio form, Bonaventure begins by advancing four arguments in favor of hylomorphic angels (the fundamenta). He then presents four counterarguments to the proposal (the ad oppositum). He offers three ways in which it is true that angels are composed of form and matter (his conclusiones), and finally, he presents his responses to the counterarguments (the solutio oppositorum), reconciling them with his own position. In each of these sections, the syllogism dominates his process. He moves from greater premise to lesser premise to arrive at the logical conclusion. Whereas Bernard had proceeded by credal recitation, Bonaventure




advances via logical analysis. The first argument of the fundamenta derives from the principle that angels are mutable. Here, as the editors of the Quaracchi text indicate, Bonaventure is perhaps paraphrasing Augustine's declaration that all creatures are capable of change. Then, working from arguments of Aristotle, Boethius, and Augustine, Bonaventure next advances the proposition that matter is the principle of change. Since angels are creatures and are capable of change, and since all change is in the material component of a creature, then it follows that angels are composed of matter. Here Bonaventure draws together both Christian and pagan sources; for him both traditions, when properly understood, can inform Christian angelology. Bonaventure does not refer to Scripture directly throughout this problem; he remains confident that reason guided by the authority of philosophy and Augustine can explore these matters. By contrast, Bernard preferred to retract a statement he made about the seraphim because he could not support it from Scripture.13 The second reason Bonaventure advances in favor of his position is that the metaphysical concepts of active and passive as constituent elements of the angelic nature can only be accounted for by the presence of matter in the angels. Here, working from the same principles as Avicebron, Bonaventure follows Aristotle and observes that the active principle of a creature is form and the passive principle is matter. Therefore, angels are hylomorphic. Bonaventure defends his statement that angels are both active and passive by citing the fact that "angels receive and give illuminations." Angels communicate with each other and with human beings by actively conveying an illumination to the recipient, who is in the state of passively receiving the message. As Bonaventure develops the argument that explains activity and passivity in angels, he responds to a potential counterargument. If it were to be stated that angels mediate illuminations in the way that light passes through the medium of air, he would reject it because there is no cooperation in the air's transmission of light.14 Bonaventure's concern for the personhood of the angels (his stress on the idea of cooperation) is important for him because he wishes to keep these abstract impersonal and metaphysical considerations as close as possible to the reality of personal angels. The reflection on the metaphysical components of angels is one part of the theologian's attempt to understand how angels communicate their revelations to humanity. The question of angelic nature appears in the context of a formal academic text, but the larger context of Bonaventure's reflections on this question is the question of understanding the mechanics of the economy of salvation. In several sections of the entire quaestio, Bonaventure raises minor counterarguments to his syllogisms. These points are not part of the broader, more significant counterarguments of the ad opposition, rather they stand as possible opposing speculations. Bonaventure does not cite any particular authorities for these minor points, and they seem to represent one of two things. Either Bonaventure is presenting the development of his own thoughts, as if to say that he had once considered and rejected that particular idea, or he is perhaps responding to students' speculations, either real or hypothetical. In either case, the presence of these minor points suggests the extent to which the scholastics were speculating about



these matters by considering questions from widely divergent points of view and taking many different concerns into consideration. The third and fourth arguments of the fundamenta further testify to the importance of preserving the individual personhood of the angels. How is it possible to account for distinctions among angels while also accounting for the essential unity of angelic nature? Again he follows Aristotelian metaphysical principles (here Bonaventure cites Aristotle's On Heaven and Earth). All angels, like all creatures, have a principle that unites them in a common nature (they share the same form), and yet they also are numerically distinct and different (their forms activate the matter that constitutes each differently). After presenting these arguments, Bonaventure offers the counterarguments. He cites Boethius, who seems to be saying that incorporeal substances cannot contain matter. He then quotes Aristotle, who (in his de Anima) states that the soul is neither a body or a form mixed with a body nor is it mixed with any matter. Since angels are like souls, it seems that Aristotle does not think that angel could be made of matter. The third counterargument is based on an idea of what the most perfect universe would be like. The most perfect universe, it seems, should have a creature that is similar to God in His spirituality and his immateriality. Since God's creation is most perfect in its very nature, the angels as the summit of creation must be similar to God and must be immaterial. Finally, the fourth line of reasoning that might suggest angels are pure form is based on the principle that a cause is more noble than its effect. Since there is no cause more noble than "uncreatedness," and since that cannot be a material cause, angels do not have matter but are pure form. In the ad opposition, Bonaventure returns to these arguments, demonstrating that they are either misunderstandings of the authorities' statements or are faulty in their reasoning. His conclusiones develop the basic metaphysical principles enunciated in the fundamenta. He begins by stating that angels cannot be simple in the sense that they are free from all compositions. Only God can be free from all composition. Bonaventure defines the nature of the angel with complete deference to his understanding of the nature of the Creator. In the Hexaemeron, he is even more explicit: "[I]t is less dangerous to say that an angel is composite, even if it is not true, than to say it is simple: for I attribute composition to the angel because I refuse to attribute to it what belongs to God, and this out of respect for the reverence I have toward God."15 A creature, simply by virtue of its dependence on a creator, cannot be an absolutely simple being. Further, when considered from the perspective of being itself, all creatures are composites of activity and passivity (only God is pure act). In addition to this metaphysical distinction, there is the logical distinction between genus and difference into which all creatures fall. Further, he cites the distinction between essence and existence, the distinction between a creature's nature and the fact that this nature does exist. Thus, it seems clear to the Seraphic Doctor that the angels are composite creatures. Questions remain, however; how are they composite or in what sense are they simple? Bonaventure observes that angels are not composed of heterogeneous elements, nor are they composites of corporeal and spiritual natures, as are humans. He acknowledges that there are doubts about hylomorphism, observing that some


people wish to except the angels from this doctrine while admitting of the compositions he has just listed. The Seraphic Doctor then critiques this position: "I do not see a cause or a line of reasoning through which it would be possible to defend anything but that angels are composed of diverse natures . . . and if they are composed of diverse natures, the two natures have modes of activity and potentiality, and thus of matter and form."16 Bonaventure cannot conceive of a reasonable alternative principle. Thus, he proceeds to demonstrate that the ad oppositum do not really contradict his position. He addresses Boethius and Aristotle together, arguing that these authorities are not speaking of matter in general, as he is. Rather, each addresses particular questions about spirits and matter. Boethius was demonstrating that corporeal creatures and spiritual creatures could not be turned into each other. Aristotle was arguing not that a soul is immaterial but rather that the soul can be separated from a material body.17 Hence these arguments cannot be advanced to oppose his own. According to Bonaventure, the third counterargument, based on the idea of a perfect universe that must contain an immaterial creature, does not succeed in adequately addressing the metaphysical concern of accounting for mutability. If someone were to object that the omnipotent God could create creatures without matter, the Seraphic Doctor says that he would respond by following Augustine. The bishop of Hippo had declared that theologians should not investigate what God could have done, rather they should concentrate on what God actually did do. Here Bonaventure's immense respect for the nature of creation is apparent. Instead of responding to the theoretical possibilities of omnipotence (which fall into the field of miracles and supernature), Bonaventure affirms the importance of nature as created. The nature God established has its own validity and it establishes its own metaphysical limits. These are the limits within which a theologian speculates responsibly. And for Bonaventure, one of these limits is universal hylomorphism. While Bonaventure had declared that he could not conceive of another way of accounting for the compositions of the angels other than through hylomorphism, Aquinas did conceive of another way. His theory is based on different metaphysical principles and indeed different concepts of what terms such as "matter" mean. The doctrine of universal hylomorphism becomes a problem primarily in the case of human souls and the angels. Few thirteenth-century theologians would deny that all nonspiritual creatures have both matter and form. The real question is whether separated souls and angels are so composed.18 J. D. Collins has examined the development of Aquinas's views of universal hylomorphism.19 Throughout his career, the Angelic Doctor opposed the doctrine, attacking it in the Summa Theologiae, large portions of the De Ente et Essentia and the De Substantiis Separatis. He offers several objections to Avicebron's position (and implicitly to Bonaventure's as well). To Aquinas, this doctrine seems to be an inadequate vehicle for distinguishing between grades of being. The keystone to the hylomorphic doctrine is the distinction between act and potency, but the distinction of matter and form is but a particular instance of the problem of act and potency. In rejecting the equation of potency and matter, Aquinas replaces the hylomorphic doctrine with a new understanding of the relationship between essence and existence. For him this distinction holds the key to metaphysics and offers a way of accounting for



the principles of being and becoming. Etienne Gilson has neatly summarized these differences between Aquinas and Bonaventure: While the latter approaches the idea of "matter" from the perspective of the metaphysician, Aquinas defines "matter" as a physicist.20 For Aquinas, matter is equivalent to corporeality; he considers matter as it is already in existence in the world. For Bonaventure, matter is a metaphysical construct that is equivalent to indeterminate potency, something capable of being rendered into existence by being joined to a form. Thus for him matter is capable of being either spiritual (if joined to a spiritual form) or corporeal (if joined to a corporeal form), whereas for Aquinas "matter" is always corporeal. The issue between these two positions was not immediately resolved. Richard Rufus brought Bonaventure's Commentary on the Sentences with him when he traveled from Paris to Oxford around 1256. In one of his Disputed Questions, Richard admits that he is unable to resolve this problem of whether all creatures are composed of matter and form.21 Franciscans and Dominicans continued to debate the question throughout the following century. Until Duns Scotus's followers abandoned the doctrine, hylomorphism was one of the distinguishing characteristics of the Franciscan school.22 Instead of trying to resolve the debate here, it is important to see how the scholastics' investigations of the angelic nature had evolved from the preceding century. At the turn of the thirteenth century, Alexander Nequam had condemned the idea that angels were composed of both matter and form.23 But he offered no arguments, and indeed, his rejection of the doctrine was due largely to his opposition to the Cathars (who held that humans were fallen angels who had received a material body for their sins). There is thus a complete shift of context from Nequam to Aquinas and Bonaventure. The later debate centered not on a popular heresy, but on a philosophical investigation of the very nature of being itself. Angels had always been part of the doctrine of creation, and angelology had always been one aspect of that doctrine, but in the thirteenth century, angelology had become part of an entire metaphysical system. With greater intensity and rigor than ever before (and probably since) the thirteenth-century masters of Paris sought to integrate Christian angelology with the understanding of the bases of existence itself. As the scholastics sought to comprehend the constituent elements of reality, they explored with great precision the metaphysics of the angels, the most sublime of all God's creatures. Having examined the doctrine of hylomorphism in some detail in order to see how Aquinas, Bonaventure, and other scholastics raised and solved problems with quaestiones, the following discussions of the Seraphic Doctor's views on the nature of the angels can restrict themselves to a consideration of the most salient points and arguments. Personhood and Knowledge After examining the question of the material and formal components of the angelic nature, Bonaventure, again developing some of Lombard's imprecise statements, proceeds to examine the question of the personhood of the angels. Like Lombard, Hugh of Saint Victor's discussions of these topics in De Sacramentis 1.5 are very brief; the thirteenth century investigations of Bonaventure and Aquinas




are far more detailed than their predecessors. To solve the problem of angelic personhood, the Seraphic Doctor raises three questions: whether angels have individual personhood, whether such personhood is substantial or accidental, and whether form or matter accounts for individual personhood?24 In contrast to the sources on hylomorphism (which were essentially metaphysical observations by Augustine and Aristotle), the sources and influences for Bonaventure's consideration of personhood are more varied. Angelic personhood had been affirmed repeatedly (in the early twelfth century it had even been one of Honorius of Autun's topics in his miscellany, Liber Duodedm Quaestionum), but discussions of the proposition remained imprecise.25 The thirteenth-century treatments of this subject benefited from a renewed general interest in distinctiveness. From the middle of the twelfth century, Christians were beginning to explore the dynamics of the inner, individual person; the Franciscans and Dominicans were particularly adept at addressing the individual needs of the members of their flocks. They helped transform manuals of penance from sets of mechanical, legal rules to guidelines that the confessor would tailor to respond to the individual confessee's needs.26 Similarly, by the second half of the thirteenth century, artists were depicting their living subjects with greater attention to the details of the individual's features, so much so that in this era may be seen the "beginnings of serious portraiture."27 In medieval Christendom, people now were placing a greater emphasis on their distinct, personal qualities. For Bonaventure, the concept of individual personhood was quite important, and the question of the personhood of the angels was a similarly significant question. Did the guardian angel assigned to each individual possess any sort of individual personhood? Had God assigned impersonal agents to watch over His creation? In the first two arguments in favor of discrete personhood in the angels, Bonaventure incorporates scriptural and liturgical passages, thereby connecting his academic exposition with the active life of the church.28 Further, he observes that the angels must have natural social and amicable affections for one another; it is impossible for him to imagine angels without such inclinations. For Bonaventure, the natural society of the angels in heaven is an important element of his conception of what angels are. As part III of this study will indicate, religious writers, particularly monastics, looked to the angels for models of how humans should live their corporate existence. Bernard, for example, had stressed that angels were perfectly harmonious, "individual but unanimous."29 They retained their distinct personhoods and yet their wills were perfectly aligned with each other and with God. The scholastic interest in the personhood of the angels was an attempt to ground this crucial devotional model for humans in metaphysics. In addition, the scholastic interest in nature and natural society, heavily influenced by Aristotle, led Bonaventure to posit angelic society as a foundation of angelology. Because they must have social affections, it follows that they must be individual in person. Thus, he concludes that angels are distinct in personhood but not in species (which, for Bonaventure, angels do share). This distinction is not a distinction of accident, but of substance. The individual identity of the angels is established at the metaphysical level. The dignity of personhood requires that its principle be established at the level of substance, the fundamental metaphysical unit.30 Finally,



he concludes that the distinction between angelic persons arises from the actual conjunction of each angel's form with its matter. Aquinas, however, differs from Bonaventure on this point. The Dominican argues that each angel is a species unto itself. Since he has no matter in his angels, he must find a different method of distinguishing between creatures that share the same formal principle; this difference can only be one of separate species.31 The second part of Lombard's Distinction 3 investigates the fall of the angels and what qualities the angels possessed at the first moment of their creation. The Master barely touches on the epistemology of the angels; the question of how the angels actually know is peripheral to his agenda. Similarly, because Alexander Nequam had not absorbed the epistemological tools that molded Bonaventure's angelology, he too did not explore the subtle difficulties of how angels come to know. The problems of the science of knowing had yet to be transmitted from the Greeks and Arabs into medieval scholasticism. (As might be expected from a monk, Bernard is far more interested in angelic contemplation than in angelic epistemology, a subject he treats only vaguely.)32 It thus remained to the thirteenth-century scholastics to develop the precise Christian understanding of how spirits know. In the second part of his commentary on Distinction 3 and in two articles of his commentary on Distinction 4, Bonaventure ventures far beyond the basic observations of the Master and methodologically proceeds through the intricate problems of angelic epistemology and the related question of angelic affection. The footnotes provided by the Quaracchi editors of the text indicate the Seraphic Doctor's debt to Aristotle, Avicenna, and the other philosophers. The arrival of these thinkers in the West raised anew the question of epistemology, and the scholastics of Bonaventure's era responded with intricate epistemological syntheses. The problem of angelic epistemology is confused by the fact that angels, having no natural bodies, have no sensory organs. They do not see, feel, or smell. How, then, could they know? Further, do angels acquire knowledge in a way comparable to human epistemology or were they perhaps created in such a way that they knew universals at the first moment of their creation (that is, they were created with innate species in their minds)? So complicated are the difficulties of angelic knowing that Aquinas raised the question of whether an angel is even able to know itself.33 For the Seraphic Doctor there are two possible objects of knowledge—first, individual, singular things, such as Socrates, and secondly the universals, the common natures that individuals share, such as humanity. (The metaphysical assumptions behind this epistemological topic are beyond the scope of this study, but fortunately Etienne Gilson has provided a lucid treatment of the subject.)34 Following his basic scholastic distinction, Bonaventure must account for two types of knowing, knowing the universal and knowing the particular. The first question Bonaventure asks is whether angels know through "innate species"; that is, do angels possess their knowledge of the universe by means of a direct apprehension of the universal forms of all things.35 In the case of the universal, there is no question that the basic object and vehicle for knowledge are the species, or the forms. The species, as the perfection of the particular, are the most perfectly intelligible. As intelligences, the angels think and know through the most perfect of epistemo-



logical units, the species. The question for Bonaventure is not whether they know through species but rather whether God filled their minds with the species at the moment of their creation or whether they have acquired more species as time progresses. He argues that reason, Sacred Scripture, and philosophy all confirm the proposition that the species through which the angels know were created in their minds by God from the moment of their creation. Not only did God create the species of all things then created, but also the species of all things that would be created in the fullness of time. In contrast to the tabula rasa of Locke's view of the human intellect, the intellect of the angel, in Gilson's view, "would be comparable to a canvas covered with its painting, or better still, a canvas reflecting the luminous essences of things."36 Bonaventure arrives at this position largely from a consideration of the opposite argument. If angels do not have all species at their creation, they must come to acquire them, but it would be difficult to see how an angel could acquire the knowledge of a species. Since species are fundamental units, it would be impossible to arrive at new species from consideration of existing ones. Thus angels are unable to generate new species, and so that they can know, God has filled them with all species. The quaestio's form (and the related importance of academic competition) facilitated Bonaventure's investigation of angelic epistemology by concentrating his analysis, fostering his investigations and making him rigorous in his arguments. Whereas Bernard could appeal to vague concepts, Bonaventure had to be precise. Thus angels know universals from the innate species they possessed at their creation. What about the problem of singular things? This is a far more difficult problem, one complicated by the Aristotelian emphasis on particulars. Hugh of Saint Victor, whose mystical-pedagogical program concentrated on the contemplation of the essences, or primordial exemplars, by which God created the cosmos, is not at all interested in the problem of how angels might come to know particulars. His psychology remains Augustinian, and his interest in the mystical and contemplative traditions of the bishop of Hippo and the Areopagite lead him to concentrate on how intellectual creatures apprehend ideas and likenesses as they exist in the mind of God. Following Augustine's reflections in the City of God, Hugh's angelic epistemology concentrates simply on affirming that God has illuminated the angels with the quod, the a quo, and the cum quo of creation.37 Subsequent scholastics, employing Aristotelian categories, could not remain satisfied with their knowledge of angelic epistemology without engaging the problem of the spirit's knowledge of particulars. For Bonaventure, the metaphysics of knowing establish that the act of knowledge involves both active and passive principles. Knowing a thing entails making that thing actively present in the mind which heretofore had been in potency with regard to the object. (The nature of God's omniscience is thus that He is always in a state of pure and perfect actuality with regard to Himself and His creation.) As a creature, therefore, angels must move or be moved from potency to act in order to acquire knowledge. Humans receive knowledge of particulars as the object of knowledge makes an impression on the passive mind through the senses. The superiority of the angel is such that it is not dependent on corporeal creatures



to bring their mind thus from potency to act. Angels know particulars by actively composing their innate species in such a way that they arrive at a full knowledge of particular objects. By combining the right species in the mind, it is possible to arrive at a knowledge of a particular object without sensory data. If an angel unites all the species that together are the constituent elements of any particular being, the spirit can arrive at a knowledge of any such being without ever "seeing" such an object. It is as if by combining in its mind the constituent forms or species of feline shape, fur, color, and other properties an angel can arrive at an idea of a particular cat. By comparing this conceptual cat with a real cat, and by confirming their identities, an angel can arrive at a knowledge of a particular extant cat. Theoretically, the angel's act of comparing its mental construct with the tangible cat does not depend on the extant cat making the angel's mind active with regard to the cat itself. Effectively, though he does not provide such an example, Bonaventure's angelic epistemology states that the angel knows the particular cats of the world without depending on the particular felines for sensory data. Throughout this entire investigation, Bonaventure's desire to understand how the universe works is apparent. He pursues epistemological intricacies as a natural scientist would explore the mechanical principles of entomology. The Seraphic Doctor seeks to know how the most sublime of creatures "work," how they function. He wants to understand the created universe as it functions at the summit. Aquinas's discussions of angelic epistemology in 1.54-58 of his Sumrna Theologian and 2.96-101 of his Summa Contra Gentiles are more complex and exploratory than the Commentary of Bonaventure. Fortunately, J. D. Collins's work has already examined in detail Aquinas's teachings and his debates with his Arabian predecessors and Christian contemporaries.38 For the purposes of this study, a few things are to be observed. Aquinas rejects Bonaventure's vision of angels composing particulars through formal elements. Such an idea is mistaken because angelic knowledge is closer to divine knowledge than human knowledge. Because of the excellence of their intellect and the very power of the forms, angels are able to apprehend singulars directly through their knowledge of the universals. Since extant things participate in their own species, knowledge of each species grants an angel access to knowledge of all members of that species. Because the higher angels are closer to God and have a keener intellect, they need fewer species in their processes of cognition than lower angels do; the species employed by the higher angels are more universal. Moreover, angels are capable of beholding the Word of God, and through such vision, they may know not only some of the mysteries of grace (God chooses to disclose other mysteries through particular revelations) but also all the creatures of God as they have their existence primordially in the Word of the creator. Here the Angelic Doctor echoes Hugh of St. Victor as he himself draws from Augustine's reading of the "evening" and "morning" of the Genesis narrative to distinguish between the knowledge which all spirits had prior to the fall of the demons (through their innate knowledge of species) and the superior "morning" knowledge which only the angels who remained with God enjoy. While Aquinas's formulation of angelic epistemology is simpler than Bonaventure's, his more sustained reflections also leave him with certain less elegant arguments. In ST 1.54.5, Aquinas compares, for example, the difference between



human souls and angels and observes that their lack of sensory organs means the angels have no sensitive souls. Because memory belongs to the sensitive soul, Aquinas is left to posit memory in the angels solely because of their minds. He clearly is not particularly comfortable with this, and it is uncertain how he would have developed the idea of angelic memory. Knowledge of such celestial epistemological workings was crucial since, as the last two parts of this study will discuss, angels were very important for the transmissions of prayers to God (as well as for reporting to God the sins of errant monks). Aquinas, like Bonaventure, is explicit in linking arguments about angelic epistemology to devotional needs. Refuting those who deny angels the knowledge of singulars (a teaching which Albertus Magnus ascribed to Jewish philosophers), the Angelic Doctor asserts that the doctrine of angels guarding individual souls itself proves such notions to be false (he defends angelic knowledge of singulars with philosophical arguments as well). Even an angel cannot protect something if it does not know it. Still, Aquinas also limits angelic knowledge in comparison with the divine; even though they are superbly skilled at discerning a person's secret thoughts from changes of expression and outward physical signs, angels cannot read minds directly (a power only attributable to God).39 Regardless of the different answers to the problem of angelic knowledge, it is clear that the thirteenth-century scholastics have developed a common angelological agenda; they raise similar issues with similar concepts and frameworks. The next question a prospective master would have to address is the question of the angels' natural knowledge of God. Because the seraphim and their lower colleagues stand so closely to God, their knowledge of Him must be of a different order than humanity's. Drawing on John Scotus Eriugena, Alan of Lille had seen such knowledge neoplatonically in terms of theophany—a direct, unmediated cognition of God. For him, each of the three triads of angelic hierarchies experience this knowledge differently in decreasing intensity. Alan's discussion is unusual, but it testifies to the range of possible speculation about the mysteries of angelic cognition. For Bonaventure and many of his predecessors in the twelfth century, the central issue is the necessity of God's grace. The Seraphic Doctor declares that even the subtle minds of the angels are unable to know God's essence without His assistance. Aquinas agrees with the need for grace to know God's essence, but allows for some angelic natural knowledge of God (particularly for the higher orders of angels) through the image of God impressed on their nature.40 For Bonaventure, if the angels had such a natural knowledge, they would have had at their creation the proper quality of beatitude. To state that the angels can know God's essence naturally is to state that the angels are naturally beatified. But beatification is the product of God's grace. God therefore must have revealed Himself even to the highest of the creatures, and His divine light permeates their being. Thus the angels constantly enjoy the contemplation of the goodness of their Creator, as Matthew 18:10 indicates (the guardian angels of little children "always behold the face of [the] Father"). Another question of angelic knowledge is whether angels have any knowledge of future events. Bonaventure addresses this matter in two contexts. First, at the instant of their creation, the good angels did not have any foreknowledge of their



blessedness (which the evil angels also lacked) before their confirmation.41 Bonaventure stresses the equal knowledge of all the angels at the moment of creation in order to emphasize the nature of their free choice. The angels fell or remained with God because of their own free decision, not because God in any way aided or hindered them. The second context of angelic foreknowledge is the power of the demons. Bonaventure explores this question because of contemporary beliefs in the power of astrology and magic. As seen in part I, these issues were problems for Augustine and the early medieval church. Some argued that "diabolic commerce" allowed them to obtain knowledge of the future. Bonaventure responds that demons cannot know certainly future events (such knowledge is reserved for God); the devils can, however, have such great knowledge and experience of the nature of human affairs that their knowledge could appear to be foreknowledge. Angels, he argues, can reveal certain knowledge of the future to mortals (as in dreams or visions) but only because God so reveals this foreknowledge to the angels.42 Love, Joy, and Sorrow Following the questions of angelic epistemology, Bonaventure completes his commentary on Lombard's Distinction 3 by considering the question of angelic affections, particularly the angelic love (amor, diligo) of God. In contrast to his discussion of angelic epistemology, which relies so heavily on Aristotelian concepts, his investigation of angelic love, joy, and sorrow draws much more heavily on Scripture.43 The Greek philosophers considered the intelligences to be purely rational beings; they did not seem to have affections at all. By contrast, for Christian considerations of angels, affections could never be separated from the idea of angels. However, as the frequent references to the Philosopher in Aquinas suggest, Aristotle's understanding of natural self-love was able to provide language and distinctions for refining the revelations of Scripture. For the scholastics as for Bernard, there could be no question that the angels were capable of love. The seraphim who gave the church's liturgy the Sanctus were understood according to the meaning of their name as being aflame with love for God. And as rational creatures capable of knowing the divinity, the angels would also be capable of the highest of experiences, the love of God. The first question Bonaventure asks concerning the natural love of the angels is whether their natural love for God is for God's sake or their own and whether such love is above the love of all other things. He asserts that the wills and judgments of the angels were established by God in such a way that the angels, at the moment of their creation, were able to love God for their own sakes and above all things. That is, their natural love of their own well-being was properly ordered to the Creator and origin of all goodness such that they were able to love God even above themselves. If they were not able to do so, then their affective capacities would have been deficient because "fundamentally, rectitude of mind consists in love, and a love is not capable of being rectified if it desires something more than or as much as it desires God." Had they been deficient, then indeed, it might be the case that God was responsible for the angel's fall. By making the angels per-



fectly capable of loving God at the moment of their creation, God ascribed the angelic wills perfect freedom to choose. Hence the demons themselves are responsible for their own fall. After the fall and confirmation of the two classes of angels, the good angels are capable of loving God even more because they have the superadded gift of grace. Citing 2 Corinthians 10:5, he states that now their love of God is a love of obedience to Christ. For both the saints and the angels (Bonaventure here is exploring the ways in which both are elevated by grace above their initial natures), their inclinations are ordered such that they now "despise . . . honors and all things desired by others" while they "love what others hate and what [would seem to be] hurtful to them for the sake of God." As the Quaracchi editors' scholion to this question indicates, several different views about the natural loves of the angels existed in the thirteenth century. William of Auxerre had raised the question of the natural self-love of the angels and this love's leading them to love God for their own sakes. He, too, saw their self-love not as being perverse and selfish but as being complementary to their love of God for His own sake (the love of charity).44 Alexander of Hales, who greatly influenced Bonaventure on this topic as elsewhere, argued that angels could naturally love God for their own sakes (concupiscible love), but that the love of God for God's own sake (benevolent love) can only be a supernatural habit produced by the gift of grace. Bonaventure, his master, and the many others who considered this topic did so as part of the question of the natural creaturely love of the Creator. As with other such questions of the creature's response to God, the examination of the angels provided an ideal test case for theological reflection. The question of the natural love for God is, in some sense, one of the fundamental questions of theology. Luther's theological reformation, for example, stemmed in part from his agonizing over this very question. Dante, bearing witness to the centrality of love and desire in medieval ethical reflection in general, ordered his Divine Comedy around misdirected, insufficient, and rightly ordered loves. The spiritual development Augustine narrated in his Confessions provides another famous example. Bonaventure's own examination of the angels' natural love can remind him of how men and women would have been able to love God had Adam and Eve not sinned. Because the good angels did not sin and because they have been confirmed by God's grace in their love of God, they are fitting creatures to inspire human hearts for the love of God. Thus, angelology was a central part of medieval "emotionology," the "collective emotional standards of a society."45 Meditations on how angels love, rejoice, or perhaps even feel sorrow were a vehicle for theologians to explore how humans should behave. Their emotional lives (to use a modern phrase that encompasses the desire, love, joy, and charity of the angels) thus begged sustained exploration. Bonaventure's exploration of whether an angel loves a superior angel, its own equal, or an inferior more was one method for articulating and reconciling three contrasting, powerful loves: the angel's (human's) love for the "greater good," the "more intense feelings for one's own," and the "vehement desire for the wellbeing" of subordinates. (He concludes that each is compelling in different aspects of the "diverse ways" of humans and angels.) Similarly, Aquinas's vehement disagreement with some scholastics (he may have had William of Auxerre in mind,



or, in some aspects of the argument, Bonaventure) over whether the angels naturally love God more than they naturally love themselves formed a part of the Angelic Doctor's overall vision of creaturely emotions and the need for grace to complete the creaturely love of God. Because grace perfects nature, he argues, the natural love of God for God's own sake must be stronger than the creature's love of self, otherwise the completion of a creature's love would be selfish.46 In addition to love, angels are also capable of joy (gaudium). As Luke 15:10 revealed: "[T]here is joy before the angels of God over one sinner who repents." So intense and perfect is this joy that angels sometimes are seen at carefree, ebullient play. The virtues in the illumination of the coronation of the Virgin in the Passional of Abbess Cunegundis are cavorting joyfully (see figure n), and Dante states that he saw angelic games (ludi) in the Paradiso. As with other aspects of the angelic nature, Bonaventure raises several questions about the nature and character of this joy.47 Are angels capable of increasing the joy they already enjoy? Can this joy ever be decreased? Are the angels capable of sadness? Since angels are confirmed in their beatitude by grace, they enjoy the ceaseless love and enjoyment of God, and thus it would seem that the angelic joy could not be increased. Drawing on Lombard, Bonaventure draws two distinctions about general changes in joy. First, joy can increase or decrease in extent (as an angel might come to know and appreciate more objects in the creation) or in intensity (as when an angel might enjoy the presence of God more deeply). Second, joy can be considered as essential joy or accidental joy. With these distinctions in mind, Bonaventure asserts that the more probable view is that the essential joy of the angels, the joy they possess through their confirmation, cannot at all be augmented. Their accidental joy, the joy the receive from the goodness and beauty of the creation, can increase both in intensity and in extent. This accidental joy can, in particular, be the product of well-done ministrations. Indeed, the context for the question of angelic joy is the question: Does a guardian angel's joy increase when its ward is beatified? In a sermon delivered on the Lukan passage concerning angelic rejoicing, Bonaventure repeats the same argument he uses here; his regular sermons provided occasions for him to disseminate his ideas about angels throughout his entire career.48 Similarly, in the Collationes in Hexaemeron, a text which, as shall be seen in part III, was delivered at the end of his career amid crises in the Franciscan order and the church, he returns to his hylomorphic principle because he sees it as an essential ingredient of faithful theological reflection. Here, this doctrine serves as the metaphysical basis for Bonaventure's understanding of angelic emotions. Because of their "matter," angels are capable of increasing their joy; a pure form would be incapable of any change whatsoever.49 The question remains whether angelic joy can decrease. Again, the question of the possible diminution of angelic happiness is asked in the context of angelic duties toward humans. If an angel's ward does not enter heaven, will the angel experience sorrow or loss? Bonaventure responds that the joy of the angels is so perfect and so full that it is impossible for the angels to experience any sadness whatsoever. The angels, therefore, by their very existence are capable of increasing their happiness but it is impossible for them to ever experience any loss of enjoyment. Aquinas agrees with Bonaventure that the angels do not suffer, but he forms his



argument from the alignment of the wills of the angels with the will of God. Since sorrow is caused by things that are contrary to the will, and because nothing happens against the will of God (and the angels), the angels do not suffer or grieve. Bernard had discussed the intellectual and emotional serenity of the angels, but he arrives at his consideration of this quality by considering the meaning of the angelic title, thrones, which implies stability and calm repose. (The twelfth-century author of the Summa. Sententiarum seems to have been atypical when he suggests that angels can experience sorrow.)50 What Bonaventure and Aquinas conclude via formal philosophical discourse, Bernard contemplates by means of an ad hoc exegesis. The difference between prescholastic and scholastic methods could not be more clear. If we recall that Stoics, too, spoke of the joy of the philosopher, then angels, in a limited sense, are Christianized Stoics. Seneca's description of the intellectual and emotional qualities of the happy person or the philosopher could also be Bonaventure's description of an angel. The true Stoic lives according to a rational understanding of his nature; he does not suffer from the uncontrollable drives of the passions. He does not suffer grief, rather he enjoys the world and derives rational pleasure from contemplating it. The basis of such Stoic happiness or contentment is the acceptance of the world as it is ordered and arranged by the providential forces of Nature.51 In the Christian context, this is the providence of God. (Indeed, Christianity adopted its concept of providence, pronoia, from the Stoics.) As the Stoics stressed the importance of duty, so did scholastics discuss the duties of the angels in regard to the creation (as seen in chapter 3's discussion of the nine hierarchies). Not only do the angels know the glorious nature of divine providence, they also help to execute its decrees. And angels, being purely rational creatures confirmed by grace, are incapable of the base passions such as those that lead to sins.52 Without carrying it too far, then, it might be possible to suggest that for the scholastics, angels are Stoics in their affections, Aristotelians in their epistemologies and metaphysics, and Neoplatonists in their hierarchy of being and illumination. What would be left out of this Greek philosophical anatomy would be the love of the angels. While Plato and his followers had much to say about desire, they were much less interested in charity. The angels fuse longing for God, the love of cooperative harmony within their choirs, and charity toward their wards in a way that would be very difficult, if at all possible, in traditional philosophical categories. For medieval Christians, the consideration of angelic joy was directly related to the difficulties the human soul encounters as it dwells in the temporal world. In Bonaventure's Soliloquy (a dialogue between a Soul and an Inner Man who seeks to strengthen the faith of the Soul), the Soul demands to hear more from the Inner Man on the nature of the joys of heaven. By hearing of the marvels and beauties and wondrous joy of the angels and beatified souls in heaven, the Soul can increase its own resolve in anticipation of the angelic life to come. Thus Catherine of Sienna declared that a soul alive with charity can experience the joy of angels, indeed it can anticipate the commingling of angelic and human loves in heaven. In a sermon delivered on the feast of Mary Magdalene, Bonaventure comforted his audience by reminding them that although (or because) the angels do not cry,



they do bear the tears of the faithful to God, providing a channel between human sorrow and the omnipotent Father.53 Further, medieval Christians used the consideration of angelic emotional and intellectual attributes to provide examples for proper human behavior. One of the reasons why the angelic hierarchy can serve as a model for the ecclesiastical hierarchy is that the angelic hierarchy exists in perfect concord and benevolence. The higher angels do not denigrate the lower ones, and the lower ones are not jealous of the higher ones. Like many other theologians, Bonaventure declared that the hierarchy of the church ought to be just like this hierarchy.54 Consequently, one of the central reasons why the natural attributes of the angels and their perfection by grace were such compelling topics was that the scholastics who contemplated them were also well aware of the fact that the ceaseless joy and steadfast, ardent charity of the angels were not being experienced by humans as they should be. In particular, underlying the emphasis on the unwavering character of angelic worship was a concern for the sin of acedia. Whether understood as a spiritual torpor, a form of sloth, or a kind of sadness, acedia was particularly dangerous to the soul as it inhibited the joy which should come from good works, loving worship of God, and proper prayers. This sin had a long history (particularly for monastics), and it was a central issue of scholastic moral theology, because spiritual joy and peace were both fruits of charity, and acedia opposed these basic pleasures. If worship and prayer ceased to be pleasurable, they might cease altogether. As priests, the scholastics who wrote about the angels also heard the confessions of men and women who did not experience charity's fulfilling joy and tranquil peace through the performance of their duties. While sermons, homilies, and devotional texts were the primary means for encouraging men and women to imitate the angels, to ask for an angel to help keep them in peace, or to remind Christians that the guardian angels can stir them from their sloth, the scholastic exploration of angelic nature provided the intellectual underpinning of such moral exhortations.55 Also in evidence, however, was a somewhat contradictory sense that angelic imperviousness to suffering makes them quite alien to human existence, especially to the responsibilities of pastoral care. When asked if angels cry or weep, Aquinas replied in the negative by citing Augustine: The angels punish "without the compassion of mercy" and they exhibit "no fellow feeling of misery while they relieve the miserable, no fear while they aid those who are in danger."56 That Augustine raised these points in the context of the superiority of Christian compassion (the ability to suffer with another) to pagan doctrines of controlling the passions, suggests a distinct ambivalence about the real differences between angelic ministries and the emotional challenges of human pastoral work. Location and Motion The final question pertaining to the angelic nature that remains to be examined is the question of the relationship between an angel and a place. In the form of Rabelais's parody, the question is How many angels can fit on the head of a pin. In part because of a certain reading of Augustine's commentary on Genesis that "spiritual creatures are not moved through places," some theologians, according to



the author of the Summa Sententiarum, took the position that angels do not exist in a place or have the attribute of locality. Generally, however, most argued that angels do exist in a place. As a matter of pure speculation, Augustine had considered the question, but he did not develop his thinking on the problem.57 Lombard had explored the question of where the angels had been created, and Bonaventure agreed with him that they were created and dwelled in the empyrean heaven. But the question of precisely how angels related to a point or place on the earth had not been explored by the Master. Similarly, Alexander Nequam had stated perfunctorily that angels exist in time and space, but he explored none of the subtle aspects of this problem.58 For the scholastics, angelic location was not an abstract question of little relevance. On the contrary, understanding the subtle nature of how angels relate to a place was a responsibility the theologian must undertake in order to understand the world God has created. Scripture suggested that angels are among us even when we are not aware of them. Balaam's ass in Numbers 22:21—35, for example, perceived the presence of the angel even though Balaam himself did not see anything until the angel revealed himself. And depictions of angels hovering in the air or walking on the ground appeared throughout the Gothic cathedrals, inviting questions about the precise location of angels. Angels were fully a part of the physical space of the Middle Ages, and the problem of how angels naturally intersect with the temporal world required exploration. The first question Bonaventure asks is whether a corporeal place can be the location for an angel at all.59 If an angel is incorporeal, how can it be in a place defined by space? For most of the church Fathers, angels were ethereal in body; the precise relationship between the incorporeal and the corporeal was not therefore a problem. Bernard himself avoided the question of the natural angelic bodies in both his On Consideration and his Sermons on the Song of Songs; the topic was not relevant for understanding how angels serve humanity.60 Pseudo-Dionysius had been the first to argue for the pure spirituality of the angels, and as twelfth-century theologians studied him and the pagan philosophers' considerations of separated substances and intelligences, the problem of how angels relate to corporeal places began to be raised. Bonaventure states that the proper ordering of creation dictates that angels exist in corporeal places (they reside primarily in the empyrean, the most noble of bodies). These places must be defined corporeally because the angels are not absolutely simple, capable of containing all things yet remaining separate from all things (as God is). Thus, to maintain proper order, angels require distinction and definition according to physical space. Considered from the perspective of the nature of one angel apart from all other issues, an angel would not have to be in a place at all. It is only from the fact that the angelic nature is established in the context of the order, arrangement, and design of the universe that angels are in corporeal places; such arguments, he states, are from "congruence" not "necessity." Angels can be only in one place at a time because their principle of individuation declares that they are always defined by a here and a now.61 The final two questions examined in the Seraphic Doctor's examination of the spatial qualities of angels are the questions that together constitute the head of the pin problem: Is it possible for an angel to exist in a mathematical point ("in loco impartibili sive punctual!")? Is it possible for several angels to be in the same



place at the same time?62 Bonaventure states that a mathematical point is no place at all. Angels can exist in the tiniest of physical spaces, spaces that themselves can be made smaller and smaller, but the space cannot be so small as to be a mathematical point. (Such applications of mathematical concepts to angelology could not have occurred without the revival of interest in mathematics in the preceding centuries.)63 On the second question, Bonaventure reminds his students that the reason for ascribing angels a place is the principle of universal order. When considering the nature of places and the nature of spiritual creatures, Bonaventure finds no reason why several angels could not theoretically be in the same place. On the other hand, when he considers the requirements of universal order, Bonaventure concludes that it is not allowed for more than one angel to be in the same place. The order of the universe would be destroyed if distinct creatures were to be separated by no distance at all, just as the order of the universe would violated if the objects of the universe were to be separated by an infinite gulf. For Bonaventure, the corporeal universe provides a proper place for all things, and this ordained framework for existence cannot be violated. As with other refined questions of the angelic nature, this question witnessed several different answers by medieval theologians. Aquinas agreed with Bonaventure that no more than one angel could be in one place, but he argued on the basis of causes. An angel can be said to be the cause of a place in that it exercises causal control over that space. Since it is impossible for more than one cause of the same degree of power to be the cause of a place, there can only be one angel in each place. Duns Scotus in the following century disagreed with his predecessors, declaring simply that spirits can coexist in places.64 Aquinas's Summa TheologMe also addressed the important question of angelic locomotion. If God was invoked in pilgrims' prayers to send an angel as a guide and protector, then it would be relevant to know whether and how angels do in fact move. (Recall, too, that Bernard contemplated angelic locomotion in the context of Gabriel's appearance before Mary.) According to Aquinas, angels can move from one point to another with or without crossing the intervening space, and they do this in time, moving from one place to another instantly, as they desire (he disagrees slightly with his mentor on what "instantly" actually means).65 While he employs philosophical arguments, the implied subtext here, as with so many other problems, is the defence of the angels as ministering spirits against the doubts raised by linking angels with the intelligences and separated substances of the philosophers. (As noted in chapter i, the problem of angelic locomotion became easily interwined with pagan doctrines concerning the motions of the planets.) While scholastics such as Aquinas and Bonaventure believed that they had defended Catholic Christianity, as the conclusion of this chapter will show, the authors of the Condemnations of 1277 believed the contrary—that many angelological speculations were heretical. These then are the natural attributes of the angels explored by the scholastics. They are either composed of both form and matter, or are pure form. If they are composed of form and matter, they are distinct in person but share the same



species, but if they are pure form, each is a species unto itself. The angels know things from innate species and by the composition of innate species (or through their subtle understanding of each species). They are capable of great love and joy, but they are impervious to sorrow. They do exist in a place, and this place can be a very small point, but not a mathematical point. Their locomotive capacities allow them to move from one place to the next by a form of teleportation. When Dante ascends to the highest of the heavens in canto XXIX of the Paradiso, he discovers such natural and metaphysical characteristics of the angels. Whereas he had the benefit of a rather direct intellectual apprehension, however, the scholastics had arrived at their conclusions via rigorous intellectual analysis. Still, both the poet and the theologians bear witness to one of the achievements of thirteenth-century scholasticism, the flowering of medieval angelology. Conclusion to Part II: Condemnations, Nominalism, and Completion Scholastic examinations of the angelic nature in the thirteenth century represented the culmination of a century and a half of angelological evolution. Moreover, the teachings about the nature of the angels developed by theologians such as Aquinas and Bonaventure remained unsurpassed by the angelologies of the rest of the Middle Ages. While it is true that the Oxford Calculatores of the fourteenth century would examine the problems of the temporal and spatial aspects of angelic existence from a different perspective, their work does not represent a major advance for angelology as a whole.56 The angelologies of subsequent centuries did not significantly advance beyond those of Bonaventure and Aquinas for several reasons. First, the Condemnations of 1277 made the use of Aristotle and his philosophical and metaphysical concepts suspect in theological discourse. The prologue to the condemnations indicates the primary concern of the ecclesiastical authorities. Certain scholastics, such as Siger of Brabant and Boethius of Dacia, were teaching philosophical propositions that, although true philosophically, contradicted revealed truth. It was argued, for example, that the world is eternal. This clearly contradicted Genesis, but even Aquinas concluded that the proposition did not contradict philosophical reasoning. Bishop Stephen Tempier and the committee of theologians he selected responded by excommunicating those who taught the false doctrines. Doctrines about angels were one element of this entire problem of the Aristotelian challenge to Christian truth. Nearly one-seventh of the condemnations concerned the angels. The most frequent subject of the commission's objections were false philosophical propositions avowing the eternal, uncreated nature of the intelligences, but there were also rejections of teachings on angelic location, epistemology, and locomotion. They were essentially rejections of Greek and Arabian ideas (many of which Bonaventure and Aquinas also explicitly rejected), but some of these propositions were also held by Aquinas. In particular, the Angelic Doctor had argued that angels did not share the same species because angels are immaterial and matter is the basis for differentiation in the species. Condemnations 81 and 96 rejected these teachings. Subsequent scholastics such as Richard



Fitz-Ralph (ca. 1300-60) clearly developed their angelologies with the possibility of excommunication in mind.67 Second, the subsequent rise of nominalism and the separation of reason and revelation characteristic of the fourteenth century certainly made the exploration of the angelic nature and angelic metaphysics more difficult. Aquinas and Bonaventure had relied on particular concepts and modes of thinking such as "species" and analogy which nominalism attacked. The emphasis of the Condemnations of 1277 and the major focus of fourteenth-century theology was on the complete freedom of God. God was, of course, completely free for Bonaventure and Aquinas as well, but He nevertheless seemed to act and create in ways that were in complete harmony with human reason. Consequently, human reason was capable of ascertaining truths and exploring supernatural mysteries with a certain degree of confidence. By stressing the radical freedom of God, it became far more difficult to explore the mysteries of angels and other topics because human reasoning did not necessarily correspond to divine reasoning (recall that the Seraphic and Angelic Doctors were able to demonstrate the existence of the angels without having to appeal to revelation). According to their reasoning, God was all but compelled to create the angels. Without such "natural" proofs of the supernatural (proofs the nominalists frowned upon), the natural and metaphysical exploration of the mysteries of the angels hardly had a stable foundation. Indeed, the whole field of natural philosophy became problematic, as explanations for creatures and phenomena could be explained either according to nature or according to God's free power. Even the roles of angels in the movements of the celestial spheres—a subject which by linking the philosophers' intelligences with Christian angels, furthered the application of philosophical categories in angelology—came to be doubted in the later Middle Ages, as the spheres themselves were seen to move according to their own particular nature. As God's absolute freedom and the "indeterminacy inherent in all creation by virtue of its being creation" came to be stressed, theologians exhibited both a decreased need to turn to angelology and decreased philosophical resources for a sustained analysis.58 In the field of angelology, there would be no going back to the skeptical, hesitant position of Saint Bernard (the continued use of the Sentences in theological education would prevent that), but there would also be no basis for any significant movement forward. Third, and finally, it appears that the main reason for the subsequent lack of development in angelology was that Aquinas and Bonaventure had explored the nature and metaphysics of the angels with such thoroughness that their successors had little new territory to explore. As late as 1200, scientific angelology, as seen in the work of Alexander Nequam, was still in its infancy. By contrast, fifty years later, both Aquinas and Bonaventure had developed thorough, systematic, comprehensive angelologies that addressed all of the major natural and metaphysical issues concerning angels. These scholastics combined the traditional understanding of angels and the new Aristotelian concepts so thoroughly that even those few scholars of the twentieth century who desire an understanding of the nature of the angels turn above all to Aquinas.69 As thirteenth-century scholastics tenaciously raised their questions about the angels and angelic attributes in their eagerness to understand the nature of the cosmos, they established the full range of angelologi-



cal questions. While Scotus and Ockham disagreed with their predecessors on particular points, it was nevertheless the agenda of the thirteenth century they were following.70 Scotus, given his different epistemological and metaphysical assumptions, developed in part as a response to Henry of Ghent, had different answers to the problems of angelic nature (his angels do employ discursive reasoning; his hierarchies are a result of merit not creation; any number of angels can occupy the same point). His agenda for angelic speculation, however, was not fundamentally different. Ockham's Quaestiones in Librum Secundum Sententiarum (ca. 1318) raised the same types of questions as his predecessors. Similarly, Ockham's angelological questions in his Quodlibeta septem (ca. 1326) do not reveal any substantially new problems for angelology.71 Angelic epistemology, locomotion, and duration are all topics explored extensively by the Seraphic and Angelic Doctors. And as the titles of Ockham's works illustrate, the use of the Sentences and the adoption of quodlibetal disputes were important developments in the institutionalization of angelology that preceded him. In contrast to the enormous leap from Alexander Nequam to Aquinas, there is hardly a skip from the Seraphic Doctor to Ockham. The major questions had been asked, and the revolutionary philosophical concepts and questions had been incorporated. The science of angels became complete in the thirteenth century.


Angels and Religious Orders

. In all medieval Christendom, the religious orders were the most dedicated to ' contemplating, living alongside, and emulating the angels. Monks could see in the celestial spirits models for their vows, especially the vows of obedience and chastity, and as members of monastic orders came to understand their calling, they saw themselves as living an angelic life within the walls of their monasteries. Far more than the laity, they aspired to see or hear angels. The mendicants of the thirteenth century were even more dedicated to angels than the monastics. Not only did they inherit the traditional links between religious orders and the celestial spirits, they also adapted their speculations on angels as a model for human lives to a new, active ministry. (That the new mendicant orders were even more interested in angels than traditional monastic orders can be seen from the fact that they much more frequently chose names derived from the angels: Angela, Angeline, Angelique, and Angelico.)1 Moreover, the Franciscans in particular were to become the most passionate angelologists of the Middle Ages. Because of a series of crises threatening their order's existence, they were to combine prophecies, allegories, apocalyptic speculations, and traditional meditations on the nine hierarchies, with a particular view of history in a sustained effort to define and legitimate their founder, their order, and their peculiar role in the divine economy. Whereas the fourth part of this study broadly investigates the roles of angels in the medieval church as a whole, part III concentrates on the most intense and sustained traditions of angelology as seen in the religious orders. The general relationships between angels and religious are examined here, followed by a detailed investigation of Franciscan angelology in order to show the breadth and the depth of this area of medieval angelology. Moreover, as a prelude to part IV, exploring how leading monastics and preachers understood angels in their own lives provides a basis for understanding how the entire clergy sought to transmit beliefs and practices to medieval Christians as a whole. Chapter 6 thus examines the multifaceted relationships between monks and angels, before considering the specific



case of the Franciscans. Chapter 7 explores the roles of angelology in the grave challenges faced by the Franciscan order. In the middle of the century, the secular masters of the University of Paris and the regular clergy attacked the friars and sought to restrict their capacity to fulfill their ministry. Further, some members of the order itself threatened the existence of the friars by advancing heretical ideas about Francis, the order, and angels. Influenced by the prophecies of Joachim of Fiore, some Franciscans declared that Francis was an angel of the Apocalypse and that the order of Friars Minor was to replace the existing church. As minister general, Bonaventure had to respond to this crisis of Franciscan eschatological and angelological speculation. This chapter explores the ways in which he, in a series of seminal texts, developed his angelology and understanding of the Apocalypse in response to these dangers. That he (like some of his contemporaries) constantly referred to angels in his struggles for the survival of the order is significant, because it suggests he believed firmly that angelological argument was influential in the church as a whole. Bonaventure agreed that Francis was an angel of the Apocalypse, but in his final work, the Collatianes in Hexaemeron, he ultimately rejected the active-contemplative paradigm of his earlier writings in favor of a purely contemplative vision for the order. As he sensed the imminent fulfillment of the prophecies of the Apocalypse, he anticipated the life of the angels in heaven, the life of ceaseless prayer, worship, and contemplation. Taken together, the writings of the Seraphic Doctor in defense of the Friars Minor represent the greatest synthesis of angelology in the Middle Ages. They combine the crucial genres of academic disputation, allegorical and literal biblical exegesis, the sermon, university lectures, devotional treatises, and even an official saint's vita. He draws together disparate themes and traditions in an effort to respond to the crises confronting his order. Here, more than in any other historical context, it is possible to see how the different habits and contexts of medieval angelology cohered in one person's mind. Yet, as the minister general of his order, the Seraphic Doctor sought to speak not just for himself but also for his own friars. And, indeed, because Franciscans saw themselves as having a unique role in the divine plan for the salvation of humanity, what this one man had to say about angels was said to the whole church. Here, then, is medieval angelology at the height of its intensity and significance.

S • I •X

Monks and Mendicants

Monks, Angels, and the Angelic Gaze By accepting a simple habit, a monk entered into an ancient tradition of understanding the religious life in terms of angels. While the lives of Christ and the Apostles always served as the primary model for both monks and mendicants, the desire to imitate the first Christians in no way precluded the use of angels to conceive of the apostolic or religious life. This association of monks and angels should not be surprising; the central elements of the monastic life, the three vows of poverty, chastity, and obedience, are characteristics that also apply to the life of the saints and angels in heaven.1 Angels need no material goods, and there are no marriages in heaven (Matthew 22:30 states, "For in the resurrection [men and women] neither marry nor are given in marriage, but are like angels in heaven"). Because of the confirmation of the grace of glory, the angels are able to exist in complete obedience to God. The angelic life offers a vision of existence without the snares of riches, the flesh, and the fallen will. Thus The Rule of Saint Benedict links the angels with the monastic life, mentioning angels three times. In chapter 7, "On Humility," the vision of Jacob's ladder in Genesis 28:12 (a vision of angels ascending and descending) signifies that monks "descend through exaltation and ascend through humility." In the same chapter, angels become a way of understanding God's omniscience. A monk must avoid vice and sin at all times because the angels report his deeds and misdeeds to God constantly. Finally, in chapter 19, "On the Way of Singing the Divine Office," the Rule reminds monks that in singing the psalms, the monks are singing in the presence of God and His angels. Angelic asexuality, eternal contemplation and worship of the divine, and perfect obedience to the will of God suggested to monks such as Bernard of Clairvaux that the perfect monk was indeed much like an angel.2 While the theme of poverty implicitly accompanies monastic discussions of the noncorporeal angels, it does not seem to have been as important a topic as angelic cooperation, discipline, and asexuality until the thirteenth century, when new groups of religious added corporate poverty to their identities. 117



It should not be surprising that in diverse contexts monastic writers employed teachings about angels to help inculcate angelic habits in their novices and, indeed, to shape their own religious communities as a whole. While the Rule was the most prominent of such works, there are ample illustrations of this process. Subsequent rules, such as Chrodegang of Metz's Regula Canonicorum (written in the eighth century for the clergy of his cathedral, organizing them into an early version of the Canons Regular) would echo Benedict and cite Psalm 137:1 (Vulgate) "in sight of the angels, I sing to you" as a reminder that "the Lord of the universe must be supplicated by us with all humility and the devotion of purity." As Bernard McGinn observes of another passage from Benedict, Jacob's dream of angels ascending and descending was "long an important image in monastic literature;" this vision encapsulated the dynamics of humility and exaltation which were so important both for monastic discipline and for the ecstasies of contemplation. Caesarius of Heisterbach's Dialogus Miraculorum, a treatise written for novices, contains many stories of monks and angels (because of its importance as a text for understanding popular religious life, this work will be further discussed in part IV). Saints' lives, too, such as the Vita Prima of Saint Bernard (composed by William of Saint Thierry and others as part of the canonization process) emphasized connections between monastic saints and the angels. Finally, in countless sermons, leaders of religious houses such as the Benedictine abbot, Geoffrey of Admont, sought to remind their audiences that they were to be like the angels.3 Hence, by examining such diverse texts, it becomes possible to see how reflections on the angels became inseparable from living the religious life. As discussed in chapters 2 and 3, that the celestial hierarchy was a model for the ecclesiastical hierarchy was a common assumption of the Middle Ages. But the angelic paradigm seemed to be most intriguing to members of religious orders. In particular, one of the most frequently considered aspects of angels was the harmonious, cooperative nature of their society. Angels suggested to the religious the perfect model for communal, particularly hierarchical, behavior. In his book written for Pope Eugene III, Bernard summarizes angelic characteristics thus: The angels are "distinct persons . . . devoutly pious, wholly chaste, individual but unanimous, secure in peace, formed by God and dedicated to divine praise and service."4 It would be hard to find a more ideal description for a monastery. The celestial spirits combine genuine individual personhood with truly cooperative desires. Moreover, they are perfectly obedient to the will of God. Hugh of Saint Victor who, as an Augustinian canon, combined communal living with secular responsibilities, also emphasized the importance of angelic harmony. He observed that the higher angels enjoy the superiority of their higher knowledge "without pride" and the lower angels enjoy their lower cognitive powers "without misery."5 The lack of pride and envy in their company makes them particularly engaging as a model for human communal life. None of the great disturbances of individual souls or monasteries could be admitted into the angelic spheres. Perhaps because the angels were so stable in their hierarchies—by the grace of God there was to be no movement whatsoever in their orders—the image of the angelic hierarchy appealed so strongly both to monasteries filled with notquite-angelic egos and to a society at large that was undergoing great social



changes. Thus, in one sermon, Bernard contrasts the stable "unity, charity, and peace" of the angels with the "jealousy, individuality, and restlessness" characteristic of Lucifer and some humans,6 Similarly, in the third book of Aelred of Rievaulx's On Spiritual Friendship, the descriptions of ideal friendship draw on the imagery of harmony, paradise, and ladders of ascent —-the imagery of the angels— in order to suggest that true friendship is eternal, stable, and indeed a foretaste of blessedness. As Aelred understood quite well (and as several speakers in Plato's Symposium and Montaigne in his reflections on his relationship with La Boetie also articulated), the loyalties of personal friendship can be threatening to the social order, and the ability to imagine friendship in angelic terms helped to provide a vision in which the tension between intimacy and community could be overcome. By offering reflections on the celestial hierarchy, the humility of the angels, and the vigilant observation of monastic behavior by angels, the Rule and subsequent writers provided powerful images to help control behavior within the walls of a monastery. If, through discussions of the celestial hierarchies, monks were enjoined to be obedient, the superiors of religious orders, too, were to learn from the angels. Because angels and monks lived so closely together, it was possible for an angel to intervene on behalf of a monk whose prior failed to hear his confession. Alternatively, a good abbot could be remembered for having served "with an angelic sense of duty."7 The responsibilities of the celestial hierarchy were fully mutual and cooperative. The higher angels serve the lower angels by providing illuminations and directions for angelic missions to humans. Precisely because this reciprocally beneficial unanimity was so central to the application of the hierarchical angelic paradigm to the church, the scholastic theologians discussed in part II sought to ground such personhood and its attendant intellectual and emotional elements in metaphysics. Angelic harmony and perfect obedience are predicated on an ordered alignment of minds, wills, and desires. The higher angels seek the completion of the lower angels in their knowledge and love, and the lower angels freely accept their duties because each loves its superiors, particularly the ultimate Lord, God. As angelic love between the hierarchies was one key to understanding proper monastic obedience, this same love was also helpful in addressing the perpetual problems of sexual temptation. Thus it is hardly surprising that Bernard, who in modern terms would be recognized as a keen psychologist, employs angelology in his Sermon 19 on the passionate Song of Songs as he seeks to redirect the desires of his monks toward the love of God. The relationship between angels and human chastity had clear biblical origins, and writers frequently discussed the two together. Thus Caesarius of Heisterbach invoked Matthew 22:30 in his linking of angels and virgins. Gregory the Great wrote of a certain devout Equitius who had a vision of himself being made a eunuch while an angel presided. After this, he was no longer tempted by the flesh, and he was able to become a spiritual guide to both monks and women. In contrast to Bernard, who would redirect earthly desires, this angel seems to have simply ended physical longing. Angels frequently seem to be involved in certifying chastity; according to the Legenda Aurea, Aquinas knew that his prayers for chastity were answered when two angels revealed it to him.8 Those who were not



saints seem to have had a more difficult time controlling their sexual desires, as the psychology of Chaucer's "Second Nun's Prologue and Tale" suggests. Here, the nun relates the story of Saint Cecilia, an angel, and the clear ability of the saint and her would-be husband to remain chaste in part to help control the nun's own longings. Although the nun does invoke Mary, her tale invokes angelic aid as well. Similarly, Gertrude the Great of Helfta calls upon "all angels and archangels" along with Mary and God as she petitions for chastity in her version of the consecration ceremony. Inflamed with a "love of chastity," she seeks to be moved to the "condition of the angels" where she will be the bride of Christ with "angelic integrity."9 Different historical and social circumstances led to different applications of angelic asexuality in the lives of religious. As Jean Leclerq observes, Bernard needed to transform the desires of his monastic audiences because they had assumed their habits as adults. Because they had been familiar with the opposite sex and its (potential) pleasures, their expectations and needs were different from those who had been child oblates at a monastery and had spent their lives in relative seclusion.10 Hence, although as Leclerq argues, his Sermons on the Song of Songs are more directed to Marian love and devotion, meditations on angelic love are required in order to help demonstrate the possibility of a noncarnal, purely spiritual love of God. Beauty and desire can be intellectual. And as Bernard's condemnations of his overzealous monks suggests, these qualities are inseparable from service, obedience, and the common life. Love is private neither for angels nor monks.11 Another illuminating example of the use of traditional angelic themes concerning sexuality comes from Peter Damian's Liber Gomorrhwnus.12 During the reform of the church in the middle of the eleventh century, Damian addressed what he felt to be one of the central problems of the contemporary church, homosexual relations among religious orders and clergy. The subtext of his argument, an argument untempered by Christian charity, derives from the visit of the two angels to Lot in Genesis 19. The men of Sodom desired these angels, and although Lot offered his two virgin daughters to these men, they still lusted after the angels. Consequently, they were blinded. Damian follows the traditional reading of these angels as figures of two-thirds of the Trinity that visited Abraham in Genesis 18 (thus Lot is said to worship in a rather orthodox fashion "one substance in the two persons" of the angels). Damian compares the Sodomites' attempt to burst in upon the angels to the homosexuals of his own day who seek to approach God through taking religious orders (these men, he argues, will likewise be struck blind in their sin). Further, he invokes Apocalypse 18:7, 2 Peter 2:4—6, and Jude 6—7, passages linking divine punishment and angelology, as part of his evidence for the afflictions that await the slaves of sodomy (for him, this sin is a form of slavery). The last of these passages juxtaposes the punishment of the fallen angels with the destruction of Sodom and Gomorrah. For Damian, it is appropriate to invoke angels in describing retribution because these spirits are saddened by these acts. Indeed, such behavior "separates [humaiisl from the company of the angels." This vitriolic text is fascinating in its angelology because it combines so many elements— literal, allegorical, and anagogical readings of Scripture, the clerical reform move-



merit, the familiar bond between angels and religious, and the association of angels and divine punishment. Here, angels in the hands of an angry reformer become powerful vituperative spirits. While many monastics stressed the charitable aspects of the intimacy between monks and angels, this text demonstrates another side to the Benedictine Rule's observation about detailed angelic knowledge of monastic behavior. Indeed, other texts also suggest that angels could be seen as a form of surveillance and control over the lives of monks. Applying the familiar celebratory phrase from Psalm 137:1 (Vulgate), "In sight of the angels, I sing to you" to human behavior, Damian writes in another work, "By all means, in sight of the angels let nothing sordid, nothing obscene be brought forth, neither vice nor sin." Similarly, Bernard, effectively utilizing a play of words on angulus/angelus in a sermon on guardian angels declares, "In every public place, in every hidden nook [angidus], respect thy angel. Would you dare do in his presence what you would not do if you saw me?"13 Angelic omniscience means perpetual observation, continual surveillance—this theme had been present even in Benedict's Rule. No angulus is hidden from the eye of the angelus. If it is the case, as some historians argue, that women in the Middle Ages were subject to and a product of "the masculine gaze" of clerics—a form of observation and control that generated the norms of behavior for women—then monks themselves were constructed in part through what can be called the angelic gaze. The vigilance of the angels was to circumscribe monastic life within its proper limits.14 Perhaps as frequently as discussions of chastity and obedience, religious writers described monks and angels as cooperating in prayer. Radulph Ardens and Galland of Rigny in the early twelfth century expressed different aspects of this collegial effort. For the former, a vigilant prayer life—aided by the angels—helped to ward off the devil's temptations. For the latter, the offering of prayers and hymns was pleasing to the angels, a community the monks aspired to join.15 Both as protectors and fellow celebrators of the divine mysteries, angels and monks labored together. Such celestial aid was certainly needed. Not all monks were as devout in their prayers as pious abbots hoped; one writer, for example, invoked the presence of the angels to enjoin monks to be more attentive. Even under the best of circumstances, according to Abbot Agathon, one of the desert Fathers, the work of prayer was one of ceaseless struggle.16 The desert Fathers themselves seem to have helped establish some of the traditional associations of angels and monks. In many ways, their encounters were extensions of the biblical narratives of humans and angels discussed in the second chapter. Through Fathers such as Saint Antony, the monks of the Middle Ages could see themselves and their angelic expectations and habits in a line of direct continuity to both the Old and New Testaments. As they were remembered in later centuries (as their lives were retold in the Legenda Aurea), these men of the Egyptian sands experienced angels regularly—as voices, as opposing the temptations of the devils, as comforters, as instructors, and at death, as celestial pallbearers. Antony, for example, learned to concentrate his thoughts during prayer from an angel. 17 As this last example suggests, another angelic legacy of the desert Fathers was the exploration of the phenomena of acedia and its related spiritual problems.



Whether seen as a form of sorrow, torpor, idleness, a tendency toward being distracted, or a deep lack of the joy that should come from charity, prayer, and good works, acedia was a danger both to the Fathers and to medieval monastics (and ultimately to all Christians). Monks and nuns were all too aware of the fact that they did not always derive pleasure from singing psalms or that they regularly failed to experience the fervor they felt they should have. Religious writers constantly contrasted the ceaseless and unyielding praise and joy of the angels with acedia or related experiences. Gertrude the Great asks of Christ, "When will you cover me with the mantle of praise for you replacing this spirit of sorrow, so that with the angels my entire body may offer you a vociferant sacrifice?" For her, the angels serve as a model for correcting her own uncertain devotions. One of the reasons why religious were so fascinated by the angels was precisely this, that the religious felt surrounded by creatures with whom they shared the liturgy but with whom they did not share the poignant distress of acedia. Because angels may aid the religious directly, their assistance was requested in this devotional struggle. Bernard recognizes the reality of "spiritual sadness," and he declares that those experiencing such temptations need "angelic consolation" and "angelic hands" to bear them through the difficulties of the moment. Precisely because they are confirmed in their joy through grace, the steadfast angels are capable of rendering us assistance. Although the scholastics were more precise in their formal explication of the unceasing devotions of angelic joy, the monastics were just as concerned with how the angels could help elevate human spirits.18 Texts as diverse as saints' lives, the Rule, Bernard's sermons, and Damian's tract testify that in the Middle Ages monks and angels were inseparable. It should not be surprising, therefore, that in its attack on monasteries, the Augsburg Confession condemned that "curious angelic spirituality" of the monks which, in the eyes of the Reformers, obscured the righteousness of God.19 Three centuries before this criticism was printed, however, the role of angels in the self-understanding of the religious was to undergo an important shift with the founding of the Dominicans and Franciscans. While the mendicants took no vow of stability (as did the traditional monastic orders), as religious orders, the friars shared a number of traits and habits with the Benedictines and Cistercians who had preceded them. Thus, Bonaventure, citing Bernard, likewise argues that the religious life allows a man to live the angelic life even on earth. Similarly, in one of his sermons the Seraphic Doctor exhorts an audience of Beguines that to live the lives of the truly religious, they must live like the angels in physical and moral purity and obedience. And in sermons delivered to his fellow Franciscans on the Feast of Saint Michael, he preaches on the traditional identifications between the virtue of chastity and the angels.20 Franciscan angelology thus exhibited significant continuities with the monastic angelology that preceded it. But at the same time, different aspects of the angels assumed new importance. For Bernard, the monastic-angelic life was a life of stability, prayer, and contemplation; when Bernard stated that being a monk made a man more like an angel than other men, his vision of monasticism was a vision of corporate isolation and communal prayer—the image of an undisturbed heavenly choir. For the Franciscans, the angelic life included an active, apostolic min-



istry; the Franciscan angel not only prayed, he also preached and ministered to the poor. Francis and his order were a crucial response to the evolution of medieval SO' ciety, and the transformation of monastic writings about angels in a new social and religious context was part of that response. While the Dominicans, too, displayed an interest in the angels, for several reasons particular to their founder and their mission, the Franciscans became particularly obsessed with crucial problems of angelology. Hence, it is in the writings of the Friars Minor that we can see most clearly significant evolutions in medieval beliefs about and applications of the spirits of heaven. Saint Francis, His Poor Men, and Angels In the twelfth century, a combination of social, economic, ecclesiastical, and exegetical transformations produced new sets of religious needs and agendas.21 The same social and economic transformations that produced the rise of the secular masters and the universities also created a new class of urban Christians, a class separated from the traditional social and religious structures. The new urban society confronted a series of religious quandaries that the land-based, secluded Benedictine communities were unable to address. The problems of an increasingly impersonal society, an obsession with the sin of avarice, the moral uncertainties of urban life, and new occupations of dubious spiritual value all contributed to a crisis of urban Christianity. At the same time, the Gregorian reform of the church led many Christians to seek new ways of expressing their religion, and the laity now expected far more from the twelfth-century church than they had from the pre-Gregorian clerics and hierarchy. Further, toward the end of the twelfth century, many members of this new society, stimulated by the efforts of the Gregorians, rediscovered the literal meaning of Scripture, in particular the literal life of Christ. Men such as Peter Waldes, the son of a merchant, sought to imitate Christ and his apostles by embracing poverty and preaching. Francis of Assisi, also the son of a merchant, confronted the religious dilemmas and trends of the new society directly. In the first decade of the thirteenth century, he began to adopt a way of life that responded to the religious quandaries of the profit economy. He donated all of his wealth to the church, adopted a simple habit, ministered to lepers, preached penance, and prayed to God as frequently and as fervently as he could. He and the followers who soon joined him saw in the literal account of the life of Christ and his followers a pattern that combined an active ministry to the world with a life of unceasing prayer and contemplation. In several ways, Francis's exemplary life and his injunctions particularly led his followers to revere and contemplate the angels. Francis himself directed the friars' spiritual imaginations to the ranks of the heavenly hierarchy, and after his death, he was seen as an angel. In his Prologue to his Legenda Maior (a text commissioned as the official vita for the saint), Bonaventure identifies Francis literally and figuratively as an angel, a divine messenger. Further, the Fioretti di San Francesco records that the order's corporate memory viewed the founder as an angel; Brother Masseo likened Francis to an angel who illuminates souls and transmits grace. For the Friars Minor, the image of the founder and the idea of God's messengers were



typologically inseparable. Hence, as the Fioretti suggests, the Franciscans also seem to have understood themselves in terms of angels.22 The acceptance of the life of poverty lay at the heart of the poverello's spiritual enterprise, and appropriately, poverty also lay at the heart of Francis's angelology. According to one record of Francis's life and words, Francis claimed that poverty "made the soul while fixed on earth converse with angels in the heavens." Thus, although the Franciscans embraced voluntary poverty, Bonaventure declared that by elevating their minds to the heavenly hierarchy, poor Christians will not be poor men (pauperes). Indeed, even those who have no riches will one day reign like princes with the angels of heaven.23 The hope of being with the angels thus encouraged Francis and his followers to renounce the transient pleasures of the coin. This Franciscan emphasis on the link between poverty and the angels represented a new emphasis on what had been a relatively undeveloped theme. Such a connection had been present in the monastic writings, generally subsumed under the category of the angelic aversion to the material world. With the Friars Minor, however, the relationship between angels and voluntary poverty became explicit. In addition to his love for and imitation of Christ, Francis also loved the angels. Thomas of Celano's Second Life of Saint Francis empasizes that Francis "left nothing pertaining to God dishonored because of neglect." Consequently, when praising the poverello for his love of Christ, Mary, and the saints, Bonaventure also describes Francis' dedication to the angels: He [Francis] was joined by a chain of inseparable love to the angels. . . . Because of his devotion to the angels he used to fast and pray constantly during the forty days after the Assumption of the glorious Virgin. Because of the fervent zeal he had for the salvation of all, he was devoted with a special love to blessed Michael the Archangel, who has the office of presenting souls to God.24 Bonaventure, not surprisingly, affirms that Christ and His Mother are the most important objects of Francis's devotion. But this does not inhibit Francis's love for the angels. Francis's vigorous devotional practices were reputedly so marvelous that he repeatedly experienced mystical raptures. Consequently, as Angelo Clareno described, him, Francis was in this life already a "fellow citizen of the angels." Bonaventure frequently reminded his fellow friars of the great joy the poverello knew in his raptures. Thus an important part of the early Franciscan ethos was the hope of experiencing celestial or angelic raptures. Bonaventure described one of Francis's first followers, Brother Giles, as a man who so frequently had mystical experiences that he was more of an angel than a man.25 But in the life of Francis, one event above all others linked Franciscans and angels. In September 1224, Francis received the stigmata from a seraphic creature. Bonaventure explored the symbolism of this meeting of Francis and the highest of the angels with great fervor and insight (later paintings of the Seraphic Doctor frequently placed images of the six-winged seraphim on his Franciscan garb). He was by no means unique in his interest in the seraphic gift to Francis; other Franciscans were likewise fascinated by the symbolism of the six wings.26 For the Friars Minor, their understanding of Francis, their order, and the angels were inseparable. The life of Francis also provided a specific geographical place for Franciscans to



recall, contemplate, and perhaps even encounter angels. He reminded his followers that the angels frequently reside in sacred locations. After his conversion experience in 1206, he labored for two years in the area around Assisi. In addition to caring for lepers, he also reestablished three dilapidated churches, including one consecrated to Saint Mary of the Angels. Bonaventure records that Francis believed that this church was one of the places in Christian Europe that was special to angels: "On account of the name of the church . . . he [Francis] experienced the frequency of angelic visitations there." Not only at the major shrines to Michael at Monte Gargano and Mont-Saint-Michel but also at numerous smaller churches across Christendom, the faithful could hope to feel the presence of the angels. Thus Francis "established his home there on account of his reverence for the angels and his preeminent love for the mother of Christ." In the fourteenth century, Brother Francis Bartoli recorded that Francis and others had indeed heard and seen angels at Saint Mary's.27 This church and this location, linked as it was to the angels, became an important part of the history of Francis and his order. In 1221 the Franciscans held a general chapter there, and the saint himself died in the church in 1226. Through Francis's devotional habits, encounters with angels became a part of the Franciscan experience. According to the transcriber of the Collationes in Hexaemeron (the surviving text is a student's record of Bonaventure's lectures), Bonaventure also once communicated with an angel: "And he [Bonaventure] said that he once spoke to one of them to whose order Gabriel belonged." The eighth minister general of Francis's order thus himself directly experienced the reality of angels. The angels permeated his world just as they permeated the early Franciscan world as recorded in the Fioretti. This record of the early acts and deeds of Francis and his followers presents many accounts of their encounters with the angels.28 As the Franciscans were fellow "ministers to those who were to inherit salvation," to paraphrase Heb. 1:14, so were they visited by colleagues. Francis molded Franciscan angelology not only through his life and examples of piety, but also through his establishment of an order. Francis founded a new type of religious order, one with a new mission and an new corporate identity. This new corporate identity elicited from its members a different understanding of how a human life can make one angelic. The older conception of the apostolic life emphasized a communal life of withdrawal from the world and the contemplation of God (thus, even when angels were understood as combining both the active and the contemplative lives, the latter still assumed priority over the former). But the Friars Minor espoused a different vision of the apostolic life, a life of service in the world combined with perpetual contemplation and prayer. Bonaventure describes Francis's founding of the order thus: Instructed by the Holy Spirit, he wrote a new Rule and established a new order, whose members, by professing the evangelical counsels, that is obedience, chastity, and poverty, were to follow the footsteps of Christ, and in preaching and hearing confessions they were to strive for the salvation of souls, and in the highest poverty and liberty of spirit they were to seize the purity of the celestial contemplation.29

For Francis, the apostolic life thus combined activity—preaching and hearing confessions—with contemplation. The two modes of life were united.



This combination of earthly activity and heavenly contemplation, Franciscans noted, characterized both the angels in their hierarchies and their own order. The lower orders of the angels, particularly the angels and archangels, directly minister to humans, while the highest orders, the cherubim and seraphim, signify the fullness of knowledge and the ecstasy of divine contemplation. Similarly, the Franciscans exhibited this full range of Christian existence. Their ministry to humans, particularly as preachers of penance, was but one element of their lives. Following Francis, they also dedicated themselves to prayer and ecstatic experiences. The Actws beati Francisci et sodorum ejus records that Brother John of Alverna experienced so many raptures "that this angelic man was at times raised to cherubic splendor, at times to seraphic ardor, and at times to angelic joy."30 By the time Bonaventure became minister general, Franciscans were not only preachers, they were also learned theologians, bishops, and ecstatics. As angels performed their duties as a cooperative collective, so should the Franciscans imitate the spirits of heaven; the traditional monastic emphasis on harmonious, ordered cooperation remained important.31 That this synthesis of the two vocations transformed angelology for the religious life can be seen in a new understanding of travel. Whereas the traditional monastic orders took vows of stability, the Franciscans accepted the burden of mobility in order to pursue their active ministry. As Salimbene de Adam's Cronica reveals, Salimbene (1221-89?) and his fellow Franciscans frequently journeyed from one Franciscan house to the next. Consequently, he often referred to Franciscans being greeted as angels when they arrived at their destinations. The familiar story of Abraham greeting and welcoming the itinerant angels in Genesis 18 provided the context for Salimbene's narrative (see figures i and 2). He and his fellow Franciscans saw themselves traveling like the angels, bearing God's message from place to place (and, implicitly, deserving hospitality and food from those they visit).32 This typology of Franciscans as angels with dual callings became central to Franciscan self-understanding. The overwhelming theme of Bonaventure's surviving sermons delivered on the feast of Saint Michael is the angels' perfect combination of activity in the world with their perfect contemplation of the divine.33 Throughout these sermons, delivered mainly to Franciscans whom he hoped to guide in the apostolic life, he considers both aspects of angelic existence. Humans cannot both contemplate God and minister to others in the same act, as angels can, but by contemplating the angels, the Franciscans can better approach the unity of ministration and prayer. The Seraphic Doctor sees the angels as a primary model for his order. His ideas of active angelic ministration come directly from Scripture. Angels minister to God's people throughout the Old Testament, and Hebrews 1:14 refers to them as "ministering spirits." Angelic ministrations include sanctifying human thoughts, protecting and guarding their spiritual wards, illuminating the minds of mortals, and inflaming human souls and inspiring the love of God within them. The story of Lazarus, in which angels ministered to paupers, also served as an inspiration to Bonaventure and his fellow Franciscans who served the poor. The Franciscan and angelic missions often seem identical in the Franciscan mind. While certain monastic themes remained important, it is clear that this angelology is quite different from the mindset of the twelfth-century



monk Peter of Celle, who stated that "the cloister lies on the border of angelic purity and earthly contamination."34 The Franciscan emphasis on ministry led their angels to be much more directly involved with the contaminated earth. As scriptural stories of angels provided a typology for Franciscan activity and mobility, so too were angels a model of perfect contemplation of the divine mystery. The Seraphic Doctor, following monastic traditions, recommends the angels' exemplary worship and praise of God by praising their capacity to revere their origin, God; their ability to fathom beauty splendidly; their fervent desire for beatitude; and their ceaseless commendation of all good things.35 One of his most frequently employed texts on angels in Scripture is Isaiah 6:1-3. For Bonaventure, this represents not only the experience of heaven, the unceasing, undistracted, blissful worship of the Creator, Redeemer, and Sustainer, but also the key to understanding how humanity comes to worship properly. The fundamental meaning of this passage for Bonaventure is the understanding that "the Seraphim correspond to supreme holiness, for in them there is holy love, wherefore they cry out, Holy, Holy, Holy." Again, "this holiness makes one God-conformed. That is why the Seraphic spirits cried out: 'Holy, holy, holy.'" This cry is the natural reaction of the highest beings. Spontaneous, unpremeditated, and unmediated, it is the most genuine and most noble of exclamations. Bonaventure punctuates his writings with references to this passage, which, as previously noted, was the basis of the Sanctus, the fundamental liturgical link between angels and humanity (see chapter 8 for a more sustained discussion). Appropriately, he characterizes prayer, the fundamental element of the contemplative life in angelic terms: "[I]n prayer we speak to God, hear Him, and we have converse with the angels as if we were living an angelic life." In the life and words of Francis, the Franciscans thus discovered a perfect combination of the contemplative and the active lives, a perfect combination of Mary and Martha. The reward of a ministry in this life is the enhanced ability to contemplate the divine; "faithful exertion in good work calms the conscience, enriches it, and elevates it into the heavens."36 Thus, while the Franciscan ethos generated new emphases on certain aspects of angelology for the religious life (poverty, travel, active ministry), it also remained firmly within traditions established by the monastics. Indeed, ultimately Bonaventure's final work, the Collationes in Hexaemeron abandons the angelic active-contemplative model in favor of another model, also derived from angels. He replaces the image of the ministering and praying hierarchy of angels and Franciscans with an image of the highest of the angels, the seraphim. No longer does he encourage his fellow friars to pursue both lives. Rather, he presents the ardent six-winged seraphim and recommends their life of ceaseless prayer and ecstasy as the model for the order of Francis (and indeed for the whole church). He replaces the angel's duality of activity and prayer with the seraph's ceaseless prayers of "Holy, holy, holy" for two reasons. First, his own personal religious inclinations were primarily contemplative, speculative, and even mystical. While he constantly affirmed the importance of both halves of the traditional Franciscan life, he seems to have inclined decisively toward the life of perpetual prayer. Thus, in his Itinerarium Mentis ad Deum, Bonaventure's most direct exposition of his own spirituality, he seems hardly interested in the active life.



Instead, Bonaventure envisions the contemplative, heavenly life as liberating. Quoting Augustine, he declares that in the celestial realm, human bodies, knowledge, and love will all be perfect; although humans will not be as old as the angels, they will share the spirits' unbridled joy.37 The Seraphic Doctor's primary attraction to the angels had always been the vision of the purity and splendor of the angels of eternal contemplation. The second reason for advocating a life of pure contemplation came not from his personal desires but from his own experiences as the chief administrator of the Friars Minor. After serving as minister general of the order for sixteen years, he had come to see his order not in terms of the church militant (which required the Franciscans to combine activity and contemplation) but in terms of the of Apocalypse (which, as he read it, called for a life of pure contemplation and ecstasy). The order, threatened from within by what was becoming the Spiritual wing of the order (members of which were employing angelology in dangerous fashions) and from without by the secular clergy, had a special mission to reform the church. As Bonaventure perceived the crises of his order and the contemporary church, the prophecies of the Apocalypse seemed ready to be fulfilled. The consummation of prophecies required an image of the consummation of humanity. Such an image came from the seraphim and their beatific joy. The subsequent chapter thus investigates the evolution of Franciscan angelology both as a cause of and response to the crises of the Friars Minor. For Bonaventure, these perils were to evoke the same emphasis on angelic order and stability that Bernard had seen as central to the monastic life.



V • E• N

Franciscan Angelology and the Crises of the Franciscan Order

Bonaventure's Defense of His Order in Paris When the deposed minister general of the Franciscans, John of Parma, nominated Bonaventure as his successor in 1257, the order faced dangers from heretical members of the order, the regular clergy, and the secular masters of the University of Paris. Indeed, the erstwhile academic assumed the leadership of an order that was widely despised from within and without. As he began to consider the order and the angels not as a scholar but as its leader, he developed his ideas about Franciscans and angels in response to these various disturbances. In a series of works— Quaestiones disputatae de perfectione evangdica (1255—56), Legenda Maior (1261), Six Wings of the Seraphim (1263), Apologia paupemm (1269), and Collationes in Hexaememn (1273)—Bonaventure defended the order and defined his vision of its mission. In each of these texts, angels and angelology form an important part of his definition and defense of the Order of Friars Minor. Precisely because he was struggling for the survival of his order, his use of angels in these writings suggests the extent to which appeals to angelology were influential in the church as a whole. He would not have invoked the celestial spirits and the paradigms they suggested unless he believed that such arguments would carry weight outside his circle of colleagues. Aquinas, as will be seen, also engaged angelological arguments in his own defense of the friars. Thus, through a consideration of the crises of the Franciscan order, it becomes possible to see how angelology and ecclesiology became interwoven in the Middle Ages. The threads of this delicate celestial-ecclesial tapestry would come to include prophecies, secretive allegorical exegesis, violent wranglings for privileges and benefits, and even excommunications and imprisonments. Even before he became minister general, the attacks of the secular masters of the University of Paris compelled Bonaventure to defend his order. The regular clergy and secular masters disliked and even despised the mendicants for several reasons.1 Because the Franciscans were such fine preachers, they attracted the patronage of wealthy benefactors. Saint Louis, for example, vigorously promoted 129



both the Dominicans and Franciscans. (He had provided the land for the Franciscan school at Paris, and the Franciscan Brother Rigaud was one of his counselors.) Furthermore, many Christians preferred to be buried in Franciscan churches; the loss of burial fees and mortuary services did not endear the local clergy to the new orders. Local bishops objected to the friars preaching in their dioceses without their supervision or without submitting to episcopal authority. Papal support and privileges for the mendicants, however, rendered the bishops rather helpless in this regard. Many of the privileges the Franciscans enjoyed were from Pope Gregory IX, who had been the order's protector. Thus, in 1241 it was determined that the Franciscans could not be compelled to kiss the hands of prelates as a sign of obedience.2 The university masters likewise were antagonistic to the mendicants because the seculars lost many of their best students and faculty (and fees) to the two orders. In addition, the Dominicans and Franciscans promoted the study of Aristotle, whose works, the secular masters believed, should be studied only with great care. Competition between secular clergy and the religious was a genuine problem throughout the Middle Ages, and angels were involved in the spoils. Monastics had benefited from holding shrines to the archangel such as the popular MontSaint-Michel. As will be discussed in the last part of this study, the veneration of Michael was an important aspect of angelological devotion, and consequently it was a significant source of income for the local monks. Even on more modest scales, angels were involved in recruiting and legitimating particular devotional patronage. A pilgrim's guide that directed pilgrims to the shrine of Saint Giles told them to pay attention to the "two angels sculpted with admirable workmanship"; this angelic advertising formed one part of the text's attempt to lure patrons making their way to Compostela. By describing the shrine so admirably (there are detailed descriptions of many "must see" items), the author helped recruit donors. It should not be surprising that Saint Giles was placed in the heavenly choirs by the angels themselves and that a certain group of monastics were kind and holy enough to "offer . . . hospitality" to his body.3 Similarly, Bernard of Clairvaux's Office of Saint Victor, written for the monks who possessed Victor's relics, celebrates this saint's angelic vision. Because competition for patronage was so fierce, legitimation of relics and their power was crucial, and angels helped to authorize popular devotions. Likewise, angelology would be involved in legitimating the Order of Friars Minor. To many in Christendom, however, the Franciscans were not competitors; they seemed simply insane. For the Florentines, the Friars Minor provided a source of great amusement because the followers of Francis "afflicted themselves in all kinds of ways." Similarly, even the people of Assisi laughed at Francis and good Brother Rufino because "they had done so much penance that they had lost their minds" (the two were parading naked in the streets).4 While these perceptions of the Franciscans were rather benign, they also reflect one of the challenges of Bonaventure's career as minister general. When he accepted the leadership of the Friars Minor, he accepted the responsibility of defending and promoting an order that many despised. A few years before he assumed his new position, the enmity of the secular mas-



ters in Paris created a crisis for both the Franciscans and the Dominicans. From the fall of 1254 through the spring of 1256, Guillaume of Saint Amour, a master at the University of Paris, published a series of works denouncing the mendicants.5 The university had already sought to limit the mendicants' rights and their position in the university by limiting the number of chairs each order could hold to one (in February 1252). Guillaume further threatened the survival of the Franciscans' school in Paris by accusing the mendicants of heretical practices. Voluntary poverty and begging were not only unwarranted by Scripture, they were also contrary to the Gospel and to the theological tradition. Moreover, by arrogating the prerogatives of the regular clergy—preaching and hearing confession—the friars disrupted the ecclesiastical hierarchy (which itself is patterned on the celestial hierarchy). Guillaume identified the vanities and sins of the mendicants and suggested that their behavior and their unsound ways were a sign of the Antichrist. He warned the university, the bishops, and even the pope that good Christian men should refuse to allow the mendicants to teach, preach, hear confession, or beg, lest Satan come to mock the church and its demise. So dangerous had Paris become to the mendicants that an arrow was shot into the Dominican school and a royal guard had to be assigned to protect them. Innocent IV had supported the seculars throughout this crisis, but in the middle of the controversy he became ill and died. The debate became so acerbic that it was believed that the Dominicans' prayers had caused the death of the pope. Fortunately for the mendicants, the new pope, Alexander IV, was to back the friars and guarantee their success in the struggle (he had been cardinal protector of the Franciscans).6 Bonaventure responded to Guillaume's attacks in his Quaestiones disputatae de perfections evangelica, which he delivered in Advent 1255 and Lent 1256.7 In proper scholastic fashion, he responded point by point to the condemnations of the secular master. At this point in his career, Bonaventure was teaching at the Franciscan school even though he had yet to receive the formal teaching license from the university (the seculars were withholding it from both him and Aquinas). While angels do not play a prominent role in Bonaventure's defense of the order, his angelology does form an important element of his defense of the mendicant mission. Recognizing the importance of the papacy's support for the survival of his order, he employs the traditional relationship between angelic and ecclesiastical hierarchies to defend his arguments in favor of papal supremacy. Just as the angels obey their superiors without question, so too should all the members of the church obey their supreme hierarch. As Decima Douie observes, this debate was an important controversy in the development of medieval political thought. Guillaume's position had an impact on later conciliar theorists, and the mendicants' support of papal primacy strengthened the arguments of later supporters of papal supremacy.8 Aquinas himself supported papal authority in his own tract Against Those Who Attack the Religious Profession, delivered in 1257. Furthermore, he also engaged directly the arguments against the friars which were derived from modelling the church hierarchy on the angelic hierarchy. First, he argues that whereas the angels are immutable and cannot be elevated from one grade to the next, the clergy certainly are elevated and hence are more mobile. Second, he invokes the problem of



the seraph's purging of Isaiah's lips—a problem that had engaged angelologists since Pseudo-Dionysius (as discussed in chapter 3). Just as it was a spirit from the ranks of the angels who performed the function of a seraph, so can one member of the ecclesiastical hierarchy perform the duties more directly pertaining to another order. That curious passage in Isaiah—made problematic by the Areopagite's rigid system of orders—becomes a part of Aquinas's defense of the mendicant's assuming functions of other clergy.9 The wrangling between members of the ecclesiastical hierarchy easily lent itself to references to the angelic hierarchy as Honorius of Autun suggests. His Liber Duodecim Quaestionum is based on the story of a monk and a canon debating whether Michael or Peter is more excellent in dignity. Because the apostles correspond to the seraphim, Peter (that is, Rome and ultimately the church canons) surpasses Michael (that is, the monks).10 In the Middle Ages, the characteristics of the angelic hierarchy were one of the intellectual battlegrounds used by members of the ecclesiastical hierarchy as they struggled to define their roles and relationships. Bonaventure's response to this crisis in Paris reveals his earliest interest in eschatological themes which could easily lead to angelic speculations.11 That members of the church were attacking the order of Francis suggested to him that an age of important tribulations had arrived. He appears to have envisioned the current age of the church as an age of renewal, but he does not indicate his full vision of what this reform might entail or how Francis and his order might be a part of a new life for the church. Indeed, given the circumstances, he wisely avoids painting the Franciscans in radical terms, although he does reveal some signs of his eschatological thinking. For example, he envisions the poor defeating avarice at the end of the world. More important, Bonaventure affirms that Francis was the angel of the sixth seal of the Apocalypse (the angel who bears the seal of the living God). Bonaventure argues that the gift of the stigmata confirms the association of Francis with a particular angel of the Apocalypse.12 In this text, Bonaventure does not develop the potentially dangerous implications of accepting this angelic identification of Francis. In subsequent writings, the image of Francis as an angel bearing God's own seal comes to be one of Bonaventure's keys to understanding Francis, the Franciscans, the church, and indeed history itself. As will be seen, the Seraphic Doctor accepted this Franciscan tradition even as he sought to bring it within the bounds of orthodoxy. His second major text in defense of the mendicants against the university masters, the Apologia pauperum, written in Paris in the autumn of 1269, reveals an increased interest in using angels to establish the legitimacy of the Franciscan enterprise.13 A ten-year lull in controversies had followed the condemnation of Guillaume's works by a commission of cardinals. (Fortunately for the mendicants, one of these cardinals was a Dominican and another the protector of the Franciscans.) While the years 1257-66 produced no new major diatribes in Paris, the attacks of the seculars resumed in 1266 when Guillaume sent a new treatise to the recently elected Pope, Clement IV. Soon after the pope's death in November 1268, Gerard d'Abbeville, the wealthy archdeacon of Ponthieu, began to preach against the mendicants. He revived Guillaume's arguments and critiques and once again labeled the mendicants heretics.



In the Apologia pauperum, written to respond to "a doctrine that, like a loathsome and horrible exhalation from the bottomless pit, would block the resplendent rays of the very Sun of Justice and darken the sky of Christian minds," Bonaventure undertakes to defend the mendicant cause against the writings of Gerard d'Abbeville and the other university masters. Bonaventure carefully deploys angelology in his defence of the practices of fasts and abstinence, the vow of poverty, and in particular, the "poverty and humility of the mendicant religious."14 Constantly citing the Fathers to enhance the authority of its arguments, the Apologia contains Bonaventure's collations on the relationship between angels and Franciscan habits. In one example, he cites the words of Ambrose to defend the practice of fasting and abstinence: "Finally, it is by fasting that John spent himself in the wilderness. Because of his abstinence he exceeded the norms of human life: he was considered not a man but an angel." By these words Ambrose compares fasting to the life of angels, and he is certainly right. . . . [F]or the life of those who fast is shown to be rather heavenly than earthly.

Not content with deploying Ambrose alone, Bonaventure also cites Jerome, in this case to defend the vow of chastity: "[S]o also in a virginal soul the heavenly dew and freshness of fasting extinguish the ardor of youth and human bodies are made to feel like angels."15 The works of the Fathers provided Bonaventure with an arsenal of angelic references, and in order to combat the calumny of Guillaume of Saint Amour, he draws on as many references as possible. The rather traditional explication of the relationship between angels and the habits of the religious serves Bonaventure quite well; he would hardly desire to appear as an innovator at this moment. Now more than ever, Franciscans needed to appear in the mainstream of the Christian tradition. Previous speculation by the authorities of the church on angels allows him to argue just this. After delivering his Apologia, Bonaventure withdrew from the debate (although Aquinas and others continued to defend the friars). The university conflict persisted until the deaths of Gerard d'Abbeville and Guillaume of Saint Amour in 1272. While the Seraphic Doctor continued to promote the Order of Friars Minor at ecclesiastical synods and audiences with popes and kings, the Apologia was his last major treatise defending the order from other members of the body of Christ. Yet if the deaths of Guillaume and Gerard and the ongoing support of the papacy guaranteed the continued success of the Franciscans in Paris, the order still faced another threat one that came from within the order itself. Many members of the Friars Minor had become enthralled by the prophecies of Joachim of Fiore (ca. 1132-1202). Joachim, a former Cistercian monk who established his own monastery in Calabria, seemed to have read Scripture (especially the Apocalypse) as a prophet. He predicted that the thirteenth century would witness cataclysmic changes in the church. Indeed, the end of the current age of the church seemed predictable with mathematical precision. The Franciscans, more than any other group, became intrigued by his fiery prophecies and indeed were overwhelmed by eschatological and apocalyptic speculation. Marjorie Reeves has well summarized the legacy of Joachim to the




Franciscans. First, the Franciscans inherited from him a sense of apocalyptic crisis in the unfolding of contemporary history. Second, they developed a belief in the holy mission of their order to address this crisis. Finally, they also inherited an attitude of obedience to the existing church and ecclesiastical hierarchy that was constantly in tension with their sense of crisis and mission.16 These three elements of the Joachite legacy compelled the Franciscans to explore the subject of the angels, because Joachim himself had explored the hidden significance of the angels of the Apocalypse. As Joachim and the study of the Apocalypse (a book brimming with angels) captured the Franciscan imagination, Franciscans began to pay keen attention to the hidden meanings of the angels of the Apocalypse. As Bonaventure assumed the position of minister general, his order and the church questioned who Francis was and what his relationship was to the angels of the Apocalypse. Was Francis, in fact, one of the angels of the Apocalypse? Indeed, who were the seven angels of the seven churches? Had Joachim of Fiore correctly interpreted the angels of the Apocalypse and predicted the advent of the Dominicans and Franciscans? Had he accurately prophesied that in 1260 the old church was to be superseded by the new church of the mendicants? The Franciscans developed their ideas about Francis, themselves, and the angels within the context of these questions. For the Seraphic Doctor, the ideas of Joachim of Fiore set the agenda for an exploration of the angels of the Apocalypse and their relationship to Francis and the order. Hence, the understanding of the impact of angelology on the Franciscans requires a brief study of Joachim, his prophecies, and his use of the angels of the Apocalypse.17 Joachim of Fiore, the Apocalypse, and Angels Joachim represents the end-product of the twelfth century's increased interest in the Apocalypse and its millenarian themes, and it is precisely this renewed apocalyptic interest that brought angels to the forefront of many thirteenth-century Christians' minds.18 The twelfth century's speculations constituted a response to Augustine's rejection of a predicted future Kingdom of God on earth. Apocalypse 20 had foretold of a thousand-year reign of "those who had been beheaded for the sake of God's word," which would come into existence immediately prior to the final battle with the forces of Gog and Magog and the ultimate triumph over the Devil. Augustine, maintaining the centrality of the Incarnation (as opposed to a "Second Coming") for world history concluded that "the Church even now is the kingdom of Christ, and the kingdom of heaven. Accordingly even now His saints reign with Him, though otherwise than as they shall reign hereafter."19 For Augustine, history was already a "done deal." History had already been fulfilled by the Incarnation; no new saint and no new order could supersede what God Himself had already done. While apocalypticism had been of great interest in the early church, the conversion of Constantine and the acceptance of Christianity as the religion of the state led theologians away from speculating on the possibility of an imminent end to the world. This identification of the church's and the state's interests combined with Augustine's rejection of the literal reading of Apocalypse 20 meant that the thinkers of the early Middle Ages would be less interested in



apocalyptic themes. While men such as Bede in the eighth century and Adso of Montier-en-der in the tenth were concerned with the figure of the Antichrist, widespread interest in speculating on the end of the world and its connection to the present time did not appear until the twelfth century. The twelfth century witnessed a variety of social and intellectual forces that directed people toward the Apocalypse. In that era, the Gregorian Reform, the split between the empire and church, the Crusades, the transformation of the economy, increased dynastic propaganda, and the widespread circulation of certain prophetic texts (works which foretold the coming of a Last World Emperor who would lead Christianity into a time of great joy until the battle with the Antichrist) all heightened an awareness of the importance of change and progress in the history of the church and created anxieties and expectations for the present and future. Thus, many twelfth- and thirteenth-century thinkers began to feel that the world might soon see events of great cosmic significance. The writings of figures such as Otto of Freising (1114/5—58), Hildegard of Bingen (1098—1179), and Gerhoh of Reichersberg (1093—1169), respectively a historian, visionary, and reformer, all reveal millenarian expectations. And in such an atmosphere, more and more thinkers turned to the Apocalypse and its figures to explain the present and discern the future. Rupert of Deutz (ca. 1075—1129), Richard of Saint Victor (d. 1173), and Anselm of Havelburg (d. 1158), for example, all utilized the seven seals and other figures from the Apocalypse in their views of history.20 Appropriately, for Joachim and others, angels were to be the heralds of these expected great changes. Joachim's prophecies, contained primarily in his Liber de Concordia Novi ac Vet' eris Testamenti, Expositio in Apocalypsim, and Psalterium Decem Chordamm, came from his understanding of the relationship between the Old and New Testaments. He places the two halves of Scripture in the context of a Trinitarian metaphysics. Joachim thus discovers three somewhat overlapping status in history. Since God is a Trinity, the nature of God's revelation must be a trinity, and indeed, the nature of history itself must also be triune. As the events of the Old Testament (the status of the Father) anticipate and find concordances in the New Testament (the status of the Son, which in this manner "proceeds" from the Father, having its origin in the Old Testament), so too will these events find their corresponding figures and moments in a third time (the status of the Holy Ghost, which proceeds according to the doctrine of the filioque, having double origins in the Old and New Testaments). Although his reading of Scripture remains Trinitarian, he also develops an angelic exegesis to confirm his understanding of the two Testaments. The two cherubim of Exodus 37:7-9, for example, signify the harmony of the two halves of Scripture.21 Angelology is firmly part of his agenda because angels are part of the divine economy and play an important role in Scripture and in history. Joachim calculates the duration of the three status according to the number of generations in each. According to his reckoning, the great transformation of the church should occur sometime between 1200 and 1260.22 Thus, in some Franciscans' eyes, particularly the followers of Gerard of Borgo San Donino, the age of Christ was to be superseded by the age of the Holy Spirit in 1260, three years after Bonaventure assumed the title of minister general. Joachim himself envisioned



the third status as the culmination of history, the final transition of human existence from an age of active clerical ministry to an age of contemplation and fulfillment (from the ecclesia activa to the ecclesia contemplativa). In addition, Joachim, following Augustine, also detected in the seven days of creation seven etates. But whereas Augustine had argued that the seventh age would lie beyond time in eternity, Joachim emphasized that it would be the age of the Holy Spirit within time. The sixth etas would be the transitional age from the second to third status. Consequently, the sixth etas is divided into seven tempora (from the opening of the seven seals of the Apocalypse), and the last tempus is also the inauguration of the seventh etas, which is also the third status.23 Preceding this would be an era of great turmoil and catastrophe. But how could the devout recognize the crucial signs, the signs that would indicate the dawn of the third status1. To understand what the character of the third status will be, prophets and theologians needed to turn to Scripture and pray for illumination. While Joachim did not develop a "mystical system" of any kind (nor did he actually claim to be a prophet), he did suggest experiences that appear similar to the experiences of mystics. During such a moment, a person surpasses an angel (supergreditur angelum) and receives a knowledge of unseeable and unspeakable mysteries. Joachim's own devotional fervor and raptures appeared to be so marvelous that a follower described his gift in terms of angelic light. Further, another writer, perhaps recording Joachim's own words, declared that an angel of God had instructed him in prophecy. Here and in other legends surrounding Joachim, the author (following Joachim himself) emphasized the nature of Joachim's abilities as a gift from God. As with the stories surrounding many saints, angels confirm the divine character of the unusual, in this case, mystic, prophetic insight into the meaning of Scripture.24 According to the Vita Prima written by William of Saint Thierry and others, for example, Bernard of Clairvaux himself was "hardly understood" when he discussed the spiritual life because he spoke with "the tongue of angels."25 Joachim envisioned the final status as a status of such ecstatic contemplation, for indeed, contemplation and worship of the divine represented the true final end of redeemed humanity. Each status had its representative ordo, and hence the final ordo will be the ordo monachorum (the first two being the ordo conjugatorum, represented by the Old Testament, and the ordo dericorum, represented by the Apostles and the contemporary church).26 The beginning of the fulfillment of the first two status were clear (the creation and the Incarnation), but when would the age of the Holy Spirit descend upon the cosmos? When would the status of the contemplatives arrive? Appropriately, angels, as God's messengers, provided Joachim with several keys for unlocking these mysteries. Drawing on the twos in the Old and New Testaments, he concludes that two new orders of spiritual men will lead the church from the second to the third age. One of Joachim's pairs is the pair of angels that save Lot from Sodom (Gen. 19:1-28). This duo, along with several others (including Moses and Aaron, Moses and Elijah, and Noah's raven and dove), suggested that two was indeed the ordained number of orders.27 Joachim, here as elsewhere, interpreted angels and men in the biblical narratives together, as corresponding pieces and figures of a numerically predetermined divine plan. In establishing more facts about the coming new orders, however, Joachim



finds in biblical angels especially revealing details. In forecasting the coming of "new spiritual men," he links the two new orders to the angels of Philadelphia and Laodicea, "they are passing on to the third stage, yet they still share in the second stage . . . they are less spiritual and less contemplative, however, than those who will follow them."28 In his scheme, the angels of the churches are linked to the history of the church from Paul to the present. Angels thus give Joachim a way of speaking about the different ages of history. The Apocalypse, chapter 14 in particular, provides clues regarding the characteristics of each order. The angel "like the son of man" sitting on a cloud in verse 14 represents an intermediary order leading the life of both contemplation and evangelization. The angel of the heavenly temple (verse 17) suggests an order of hermits who live like the angels. Finally the two orders will sound the word of God as the angel blasts the seventh trumpet.29 Many thirteenth-century readers of Joachim would see the Dominicans and Franciscans in this interpretation. Bernard McGinn identifies three periods in the history of the spread and use of Joachim's prophecies in the thirteenth century.30 From the abbot's death in 1202 till the 12405, thinkers considered him both as the man condemned by the Fourth Lateran Council for his Trinitarian views and as the enlightened prophet who warned Christendom of the coming of the Antichrist.31 The second phase, from the 12403 to the year 1260 (the year which, according to the prophecies, should have witnessed the coming of the Antichrist), marks the beginning of the Franciscan interest in Joachim. The earliest interest in Joachim's ideas came from his prophecies of the Antichrist and his claims to be able to use Scripture to fathom the patterns and meanings of history. In picking up the tomes of the Calabrian abbot, the order of Francis was beginning to consider itself in eschatological and Apocalyptic terms. Finally, from 1260 on, the Franciscan Spirituals appropriated and transformed Joachim's predictions, using him to critique the contemporary church. These last two phases of Joachimism in the thirteenth century compelled the Franciscans to clarify their own understanding of the order and their vision of the coming apocalypse. In Dante's Paradise, Bonaventure identifies the soul of Joachim of Fiore to the poet; "here besides me shines the Calabrian Abbot Joachim, who was endowed with a spirit of prophecy."32 Well aware of the history of the Franciscan order in the thirteenth century, Dante appropriately has the former minister general introduce the prophet. The Cronica of the Franciscan Salimbene de Adam suggests the extent to which Joachite prophecies had captivated the minds of the Franciscans. One of the central historical reasons for the success of the Calabrian abbot's prophecies had been the depredations of the Emperor Frederick II (1194-1250). Joachim had predicted great turmoil for the church; Frederick's ongoing Italian rampages seemed to confirm the accuracy of such prophecies.33 Salimbene, an early but temporary convert to Joachism, even confessed that he had at one time hoped that Frederick would commit many evil deeds so that the prophecies of Joachim could be fulfilled.34 He also states that he read Brother Berthold of Ratisbon's treatise on the Apocalypse in order to discover the significance of the seven angels of the seven churches. (Brother Berthold, a Franciscan, was famous as a popular preacher who delivered his sermons from a special mobile tower designed



for preaching.) Salimbene was likewise fascinated with interpreting Joachim's prophecies of two orders of new spiritual men (whom Salimbene naturally saw as the mendicants). His entire Cronica is filled with references to images from the Apocalypse and speculations on the meaning of the various seals, beasts, and angels of that text. As this work reveals, he and his fellow Franciscans frequently discussed the prophecies and speculated on mysterious clues in contemporary events. In one case, Salimbene and Brother Gerard of Borgo San Donino met in a secluded area to talk about the signs of the arrival of the Antichrist. Following Apocalypse 22:8-9, Salimbene anticipated that the true followers of Christ will receive the honor of the angels.35 Unfortunately for the Franciscans, however, this same Brother Gerard was found to have interpreted heretically Joachim, Francis, and their order in terms of the angels of the Apocalypse. Not only did Bonaventure ultimately confine this man to perpetual imprisonment, he also had to develop his own eschatological vision of Francis, the order, and the angels of the Apocalypse in response. Gerard of Borgo San Donino and the Revolutionary Possibilities of Angelology While the first explicit connection between Joachim's prophecies of the "new spiritual men" and the two mendicant orders appeared in 1256, the first controversy linking Joachite prophecies and the Franciscans had occurred two years previously in the "Scandal of the Eternal Evangel."36 As the secular masters of the University of Paris increased their attacks on the mendicant teachers, Gerard of Borgo San Donino, a Franciscan, presented his Liber Introductorius, an introduction and set of glosses to the works of Joachim. Gerard, a Sicilian, had arrived in Paris as a master of grammar around 1250. Within a few years, he rose to the position of lector in theology. He and the Seraphic Doctor must have attended many of the same lectures, perhaps even each other's (unfortunately, no information about their relationship prior to 1257 survives). Gerard, who had lived near Joachim's Calabria, had become devoted to the prophet sometime before 1250. He proudly told Salimbene that Joachim had foretold of Louis IX's disastrous first crusade.37 In the Liber Introductorius (the only certain knowledge of which has survived in the writings of his prosecutors), Gerard declared that Joachim was the angel of Apocalypse 14:6: "another angel flying in midheaven, with an eternal gospel to proclaim to those who dwell on earth, to every nation and tribe, and tongue and people." Further, the Franciscan believed that the Calabrian abbot was also the angel of Daniel 12:7, who foretold "the shattering of the power of the holy people."38 According to Gerard, Joachim's gift of prophesy had included the revelation of a third and final Testament. Just as the Old Testament was the text for the first status, and the New Testament for the second, Joachim's prophecies constituted the ultimate revelation of God. In Gerard's eyes, the Calabrian abbot's writings constituted the abrogation of the gospel of Christ. Hence Joachim was the eternal evangel. He had predicted the new age, the third and final status of history. Although Joachim never advocated the abrogation of the New Testament (he identifies the angel of Apoc. 14:6 with Christ), Gerard seems to have believed



that the abbot had provided God's final dispensation for humanity.39 The Charmlarium Universitatis Parisiensis suggests that even if Gerard did not call for a violent overthrow of the existing ecclesiastical hierarchy, the implications of his claims led some clerics to fear for their possessions.40 The Liber Introductorius tapped into the revolutionary possibilities of angels. Various millennial movements throughout the Middle Ages believed that they were divinely sanctioned through God's angels. In the eighth century, Saint Boniface was opposed by a certain Adelbert who claimed that he was an angel and that Michael had authorized his mission with a letter from Christ. In later centuries, similar phenomena reappeared. Multitudes looked upon their leader Tanchelm as the angel of the Lord. Many believed Baldwin, the sleeping emperor, to be part angel, part demon. The archangel Michael communicated an angry God's wishes to the Revolutionary of the Upper Rhine. The Secret Flagellants of Thuringia believed that as they scourged themselves an angel with the unusual name of Venus protected them. And the Adamites of Bohemia understood themselves and their roles in terms of God's avenging angels.41 Similarly, Gerard's identifying Joachim as an angel formed an integral part of his revolutionary beliefs. That the dates of these movements range from the middle of the eighth to the early fifteenth centuries (the Adamites) suggests that this revolutionary potential was available throughout the entire period. This is not the place to investigate the angelologies of these movements in detail; rather, it is important to place Gerard into this broader context of revolutionary angelology. The Scandal of the Eternal Evangel is but a particular example of the larger medieval phenomenon of the use of angels to justify radical ideas (another famous example is Michael's appearance to Joan of Arc, which helped legitimate her unusual mission and behavior). Rebellion, revolution, and transgressive behavior required divine sanction, and for many, angels provided that sanction. By contrast, the ancient tradition that linked the ecclesiastical and celestial hierarchies suggested anything but revolution. Indeed, the rigid structure of the heavenly hierarchy connoted stability and perpetual, harmonious repose. Bonaventure, for example, had used the ordered hierarchy of angels to demonstrate that all Christians must submit to papal authority.42 The difference between Bonaventure and Gerard on this point of angelology is the difference between the timeless angels and the angels of history. As part I of this study demonstrated, the angels of Scripture were simultaneously fully part of history and completely removed from time in their eternal, stable hierarchies. The angels of history heralded each of the great transformations of the church (such as the revelation of the Law and the Incarnation), whereas the angelic orders provided the model for a stable, unchanging church (Michael's defeat of the dragon surmounting a bishop's crozier also served a similar function of legitimating episcopal rule, see figure 8). Because angels were both temporal and atemporal, medieval Christians could use them to justify both revolution and submission to authority. Both the Seraphic Doctor and Gerard saw in the angels a source for validating their own ecclesiastical programs. As Gershom Scholem observed about mysticism, angelology has "two contradictory or complementary aspects: the one conservative, the other revolutionary."43



Gerard's case, of course, did have great implications for Christendom. He also merited distinction as the first man credited with linking Francis explicitly with the angel of Apocalypse 7:1—8, the angel bearing the seal of the living God. (John of Parma may have actually been the first man to make such a claim, but the record remains obscure.) Joachim himself had predicted the coming of this angel, and Franciscans concluded that the angel must be Francis.44 Throughout the rest of the century, Franciscans, including Bonaventure, contemplated this angelic identification and its implications. If Francis was an angel of the Apocalypse, an angel who would herald the end of all things, then it seemed reasonable for Gerard to declare that the mendicants, especially the Franciscans, would replace the existing clerical order, since the church would now become the ecdesia contemplatwa. Was not Francis a great prophet? Many Franciscans, including Bonaventure, believed that he was endowed with the gift of prophecy. Do not great prophets produce great revolutions among the faithful? If Francis was angel of the Apocalypse, then clearly his order must also have a special eschatological mission. Thus, in the Actus, the angels in heaven give thanks for the deeds of the order on earth. Gerard, following Joachim, hailed the new spiritual men who were to lead the church to a new age, a new status; only those who walked barefoot were to be the teachers of the church.45 Soon after Gerard presented his work in Paris, Innocent IV, who bore no great love for the Franciscans, condemned it. As a result of the Scandal of the Eternal Evangel, Innocent rescinded the privileges of the mendicants in Paris. Fortunately for the friars, this pope soon died. In October of the following year, the succeeding pope, Alexander IV, who had been the protector of the Franciscans, annulled Innocent's decrees and reinstated the mendicants. However, Alexander repeated the condemnation of Gerard, and he ordered the bishop of Paris to burn all copies. Further, the bishop was to excommunicate those who continued to read it, although the pope, hoping to spare the Franciscans from embarrassment, requested that the bishop use discretion in the matter. The book and its provocative ideas, however, must have remained in circulation; seven months later, Alexander again commanded the bishop of Paris to burn the book. Despite these efforts, the Liber Introductorius remained available in some Franciscan circles; at some time in the 12603, Salimbene records that a fellow Franciscan presented him with a copy (which he promptly burned).46 That the scandal was well-remembered into the fourteenth century is clear from the depiction of the angel with the Everlasting Gospel in an illuminated text of the Apocalypse produced in France about 1308-11 (see figure 6). As an angel with a text hovers above, men are conversing in heated discussion, and one man is looking off in the wrong direction, his face no longer visible. One of the reasons for the difficulties of disposing of the Liber Introductorius was the recalcitrance of the minister general of the Franciscans, John of Parma. On the one hand, John recognized the danger of such a treatise; in response, he issued a statute forbidding any Franciscan from publishing any work without the order's approval. On the other hand, in 1255, John and his Dominican counterpart, Humbert de Romanis, issued a joint encyclical officially endorsing a prophetic role for their orders. Despite the dangers of Joachism, John maintained the importance of seeing his order in terms of prophecies and eschatological expectations. Thus, Salimbene labeled John a great Joachite.47 While the relationship between Ge-



rard and John remains unclear, John's support of his fellow Franciscan's agenda earned him the wrath of the papacy. At Alexander IV's suggestion, in 1257, he resigned as minister general. He accepted this command but retained the prerogative of naming his successor. He chose Bonaventure. John of Parma had returned Gerard to Sicily, but several years later when Gerard still failed to recant his errors, Bonaventure, then minister general, had Gerard brought before him.48 The Seraphic Doctor punished his former colleague by imprisoning him. He lived in chains for nearly two more decades with no access to colleagues, books, or sacraments. So drastic were his heresies, so greatly did he threaten the survival of the order, that he did not even receive a Christian burial. John of Parma, too, was to need formal inquiry. Contradictory accounts of the trial of the outgoing minister general make it difficult to determine precisely Bonaventure's role in the proceedings.49 According to one account, the Seraphic Doctor betrayed the trust and fellowship of his predecessor; he condemned the man who had enabled him to teach in Paris without a license and who had nominated him to this supreme position. The Spirituals had hoped that the saintly John would help fulfill their eschatological expectations, and consequently as he assumed the leadership of the Friars Minor, the Seraphic Doctor found himself despised by certain members of his own order. In the oral tradition of what was to become the Spiritual wing of the order, Bonaventure appeared in a vision attacking John of Parma with sharp, iron fingernails (happily for John, Francis intervened and cut the fingernails).50 Salimbene's personal record of his encounters with Gerard's heresy and the writings of Joachim indicate the dual legacy of these prophecies to the Franciscans. On the one hand, Salimbene confesses that he and Gerard once slipped behind a dormitory to discuss the meaning of Joachim's predictions and the future of the church. On the other hand, he endeavors to clear his order of the taint of both Joachim and Gerard. Ultimately, Salimbene turned to Scripture and angelology to understand the heretical Franciscan. 2 Corinthians 11:14 reveals that Satan transforms himself into an angel of light. So Gerard seemed to Salimbene; a man whose spiritual gifts and desire for a pure church belied his wicked heresy.51 All Franciscans inherited the same dilemma. On the one hand Joachim seemed to foretell of the Franciscan order, and Gerard had believed that Francis was indeed the angel of the sixth seal. On the other hand, accepting the ideas of these two men threatened the survival of the order of Saint Francis. As Bonaventure administered and defended the Friars Minor, he too was moved both to embrace and spurn Joachim and his eschatological expectations. As he explored the implications of the apocalyptic identity of Francis, he again developed his angelology to define Francis and the order. Over the last decade and a half of his life in the context of this crisis, he produced what is probably the richest and most significant synthesis of angelology in the Middle Ages. The Role of Angelology in the Eschatological Roles of Francis and the Franciscans The attacks of the secular clergy and the radical Joachites within his own order compelled Bonaventure to define precisely the eschatological roles of Francis and



his order. For him, the assaults of the former suggested that a time of tribulations had arrived. The claims of the latter separated the order from the church that it was to help reform, not replace. As Bonaventure developed his eschatological ideas, first in his Legenda Maior (1260) and finally in his Collationes in Hexaemeron (1273), he framed them with references to the angels of the Apocalypse. His sustained use of angels throughout these texts is an impressive synthesis, for he wrote as a university-trained scholastic, a mystic, a Franciscan, a preacher, and as a reforming minister general, drawing together angelic themes from each of these capacities. One of the great difficulties Bonaventure faced was the question of the precise identity of Francis. Gerard and others had seen him in terms of the angels of the Apocalypse. Salimbene, a near-contemporary of Bonaventure, also recorded that new details about the life of Francis surfaced each year.52 The diverse sets of stories about the founder of the order threatened to divide the brothers; as Francis's deeds multiplied, so did the possible interpretations of his life. The poor man of Assisi was not merely another saint; he had received the stigmata of the Savior. His life and his commandments seemed to constitute a divine revelation. The determination of the spiritual significance of Francis's mission would thus define the eschatological role of both Francis and the order. Consequently, when Bonaventure as minister general accepted the commission of the General Chapter of Narbonne in 1260 to write the authoritative biography of the founder, he recognized the need to establish precisely the character and purpose of Francis's commandments and life. The General Chapter of 1263 approved the text of his biography, and the Chapter of 1266 (presumably under Bonaventure's direction) decreed that since it was the definitive version, every house should destroy all other Lives. The Seraphic Doctor believed that a uniform, authoritative understanding of the founder was necessary for the survival and unity of the order. (The General Chapter of 1276, however, meeting two years after Bonaventure's death, called for all new revelations of Francis to be collected; Bonaventure's attempt to create a final, authoritative life did not endure.) In order to compose accurately and reverently the life, Bonaventure literally followed the footsteps of the poverello in Italy. He visited Assisi, met with those who had known Francis, and collected material from the previous Lives of Francis. Bonaventure's account of the life of Francis and his subsequent writings reveal the extent to which the poor man of Assisi was to become one of the major influences on the Seraphic Doctor and his views of angels. As he composed his biography of Francis, his Legenda Maior, he began to explore certain eschatological and angelological themes that he would develop fully only in his last major work, the Cottationes in Hexaemeron. In order to utilize the life of Francis to define the nature and mission of the order, the Seraphic Doctor established three specific connections with angels. Francis is seraphic; he is the angel of peace; and above all he is the sixth angel of the Apocalypse. Together, these angelic references allowed Bonaventure to respond to the dangerous groups threatening his order. The Prologue refers to Francis as a man "wholly ignited by seraphic fire."53 Central to the demonstration of Francis's special calling and to Bonaventure's understanding of angels was the encounter between Francis and the seraph on



Mount Alverna. No other founder of an order had been so holy and so favored by God that he had received the actual wounds of the Savior. He had received a "singular privilege which had never before been conceded to a person in all the previous ages."54 No other Christian could presume to question such a gifted man. Thus, in the Apologia pauperum, Bonaventure used the legend to defend the Order: How fittingly, then, in the seraphic apparition, did Christ impress His stigmata in approbation of the holy little poor man! For Francis perfectly served and perfectly taught the perfection of the Gospel, and [by the mark of His wounds] Christ gave us a clear sign of the way of perfection as opposed to the dangerous darkness of these later times.55

The authority and mission of the Order of Friars Minor rested on this event, and the "darkness of these later times" seemed to demonstrate the eschatological importance of this event. Chapter 13 of the Legenda Maior details the encounter on the mountain. On September 14, Francis was praying, and a seraph in the form of the crucified Christ appeared to him. This angel imprinted on his heart a special burning love for God and it left his body with the signs of his special mission, the stigmata, the bloody wounds of Christ. Previous Franciscans had contemplated the hidden mysteries of this event, but Bonaventure explores its meaning in ever greater detail.56 Throughout his writings as minister general, he returns to Francis's vision of the seraph and its significance. Indeed, he claims that he derived the inspiration for his Itinerarium Mentis ad Deum from his own contemplation of the event. He climbed the same Mount Alverna, "longing to find some peace of soul at that place of peace," and he writes, While I was there, meditating on the different ways of the mind's ascent to God, there came to me among other thoughts the memory of the miracle which had occurred in this very place to blessed Francis himself: the vision of a six-winged seraph in the likeness of the Crucified. In my meditation, it was at once clear to me that this vision represented not only the contemplative rapture of our father, but also the road by which this rapture is attained.57

And indeed, the six wings of the seraphim and what they signify become the foundation for Bonaventure's exposition of how the mind can reach God. The grace of God has revealed through Francis the way for human souls to return to God. The peculiar life of Francis serves as a perfect model for the elevation of the human soul to its highest levels. In the Legenda Maior, the encounter with the seraph punctuates the life of Francis. In the Collationes in Hexaemeron, the figure of Francis and his encounter with the seraph assume eschatological significance; the seraphic encounter becomes the key to Bonaventure's final understanding of church history and the salvation of all humanity. In the second major angelic identification of Francis in the Prologue to the LegendaMaior, Bonaventure echoes Isaiah 33:7 and identifies Francis as the "Angel of true peace." In several other sections, Bonaventure similarly portrays Francis as a man who brings peace and triumphs over discord. By stressing Francis's calm, non-



contentious ways, Bonaventure indirectly and gently rebukes the Spirituals for the discord they had brought to the Order (likewise, by stressing the peace and concord of the angels in several of his sermons, Bernard had indirectly critiqued the contentious monks of his own day).58 Three of Bonaventure's predecessors as minister general had been deposed (Elias, Crescentius of Jesi, and John of Parma), and the Franciscan order required above all unity and an end to factional strife. The epithet "Angel of true peace" reminds even the most fervent imitators of Francis of the necessity of imitating Francis in all ways, especially in the ways of harmonious cooperation. Here, the single person of Francis embodies the virtue of free obedience that monastic writers had seen in the entire hierarchy of heaven. Finally, the most provocative of Bonaventure's angelic identifications of Francis in the Prologue is his linking of Francis and an angel of the Apocalypse, specifically the sixth angel.59 According to Apocalypse 7:2-4, John saw another angel ascend from the rising of the sun, with the seal of the living God, and he called with a loud voice to the four angels who had been given power to harm earth and sea, saying, "Do not harm the earth or the sea or the trees, till we have sealed the servants of our God upon their foreheads." And I heard the number of the sealed, a hundred and forty-four thousand. That Francis had signed all of his letters with the "T," had identified himself with Ezra 9:4 (those to be saved in Jerusalem will bear this sign), and had been marked by the seal of God, the stigmata, pointed to this association of Francis and the angel of Apocalypse 7:2. In several texts, Bonaventure himself argues that the gift of the stigmata confirms the association of Francis with the angel bearing the seal of the living God. 60 The identification of Francis and his special status has been confirmed by Christ himself. Calling a saint "angelic" had become a Christian commonplace by the thirteenth century. A person could be portrayed in terms of angels for any number of qualities (usually because of a pure, unblemished life). Salimbene, for example, described John of Parma as angelic.61 But for Bonaventure, Francis was not merely an angel but a specific angel of the Apocalypse. He had fulfilled a role foretold twelve hundred years earlier. The Seraphic Doctor expressed his commitment to the eschatological reading of Francis in his Legenda Major, but he did not develop the implications of this reading of the saint in the order's official biography. The breadth and depth of his speculation were not revealed until his last work, the Collationes in tiexaemeron. Bonaventure remains so captivated by this association of Francis and the angel who seals the elect that he meditates extensively upon the sealing of each of the twelve tribes in the Hexaemeron. 62 Bonaventure's sources for identifying Francis as the sixth angel were probably Gerard of Borgo San Donino and John of Parma. But a tradition developed that the Seraphic Doctor had learned of the angelic identity for Francis from a more orthodox source—a voice from heaven.63 Orthodox Franciscans had to balance their desire to see Francis as an apocalyptic angel with the fact that the first promoters of the idea were condemned men. Fortunately for later Franciscans, Bonaventure's affirmation of Francis as the angel with the seal provided them with a legitimate source for their beliefs about the unique role of Francis. 64 Further, this



association also suggested that not only could Francis be an angel, but that his followers could have a special role in the divine economy. As discussed previously, the oral traditions contained in the Fioretti suggest that many Franciscans saw themselves in terms of angels. While Bernard could claim that being a monk made a man like an angel, neither he nor any other major monastic leader proclaimed such a radical eschatological mission for an entire religious order. And as Gerard of Borgo San Donino's fate had made clear, the question of this role for the order itself was also quite dangerous. Dante, too, followed this identification but did not carry it as far as the Seraphic Doctor. In canto XI of the Paradiso, Francis is associated with the rising sun of Apocalypse 7:2—but not with its seal. Indeed, the poet mentions two seals that are given to Francis—the stigmata from Christ, and the confirmation of the order from Innocent III. The Poor Man remains radical for Dante, but he is no longer revolutionary. The tension behind Bonaventure's eschatological speculation was his conflicting loyalties, both to his own apocalyptic interests and to the pope and the existing ecclesiastical hierarchy (a loyalty which Francis himself had commanded). If the Franciscans were a part of the Apocalypse, then indeed, the current age of humanity and the contemporary church were about to be superseded, perhaps as violently as the Apocalypse (and Gerard) suggested. As Bernard McGinn observes, eschatological speculation is most often the preserve of sects not of the mainstream.65 Bonaventure and the Franciscans who shared his vision simultaneously were and were not sectarians. On the one hand, they followed a radical saint who espoused a radical program (which elicited repeated attacks from the main body of the church). On the other hand, Francis and Bonaventure both recognized and affirmed the power and authority of the ecclesiastical hierarchy. Equating Francis with an angel of the Apocalypse remained simultaneously appealing and dangerous to the Seraphic Doctor throughout his life. Thus, he did not explore the significance of the apocalyptic Francis until the Hexaemeron. As Joseph Cardinal Ratzinger notes, as Bonaventure moves from the Legenda Maior to the Hexaemeron, the association of Francis with the angel bearing the seal of the living God becomes more important. "The notion of the 'angelus ascendens ab ortu solis' has become the central concept of Bonaventure's understanding of Francis as well as his theology of the history of salvation." 66

The Collationes in Hexaemeron: The Great Angelological Synthesis In the Hexaemeron, the apocalyptic implications of the image of Francis bearing the seal receive extensive development. Ultimately, Bonaventure demonstrates more interest in Francis's role in the divine economy than in Francis the person. 67 The person of Francis disappears behind the eschatological role of the saint. Here Bonaventure abandons his first model of the angelic-Franciscan life that combined an active ministry with perpetual prayer in favor of the seraphic model of pure prayer and contemplation. As he senses the possibility of an imminent eschatological revolution in the church, he anticipates the eternal repose of the church triumphant.



Bonaventure delivered his Collationes in Hexaemeron in Paris in April and May of 1273. This lengthy series of over twenty university sermons attracted an audience of approximately one hundred and sixty masters, bachelors, and other Franciscans. In this "final Bonaventurian synthesis," the Seraphic Doctor offers the culmination of his thinking on the most important elements of theology and the church.68 As Bonaventure develops his ideas about Francis, the Franciscan order, and the Apocalypse, his angelology guides his thinking, providing him with types, models, and prophecies. All of the principal themes of his lifelong reflections on angels reappear in these sermons. (He even retracts some of his previous angelological errors.) 69 His love of anagogy and the angelic hierarchies, his metaphysical investigations of the spirits of heaven, the symbiosis of angelology and ecclesiology, the consideration of the mysterious six-winged seraphim—all of these themes permeate the text. Several of the sermons contain extended reflections on the angelic hierarchies, their relationship to the Trinity, and their relationship to the church. Further, for the first time he reveals that he has conversed with an angel, apparently one of the virtues. 70 At approximately the age of fifty-six, the Seraphic Doctor thus integrates his angelology. He now places this synthesis in the context of his apocalyptic reflections on the crises of the contemporary church. Now more than ever, the study of the angels and the triumph of the church militant become inseparable. His immediate concern in the Hexaemeron was to redirect the study of theology away from the errors of the extreme form of Aristotelianism that had become prominent at Paris (and which, as discussed previously, was to be attacked in the Condemnations of 1277). He sought to establish the superiority of Christian wisdom over pagan philosophy. Aristotle correctly deduced some mysterious truths, but he also offered false teachings. As part of his correction of radical Aristotelianism, Bonaventure identifies many of the pagan's true and false teachings on angels. But the problem of the Philosopher's teachings was more than an academic issue limited to the university. For Bonaventure, as for others, the controversies over Aristotle contained apocalyptic implications. The perverse study of the Philosopher had seduced Christian minds away from the proper contemplation of Scripture. Bonaventure believed that a new era of scriptural understanding would soon arrive to correct the errors of the era.71 More than in his previous theological writings or in his defenses of the order, Bonaventure speculates in his last work on the meaning of the Apocalypse. While eschatological elements had been present in the Legenda Maior and the Quaes-tiones disputatae de perfectione evangelica, now they come to dominate his thought. In the Breviloquium, written about 1254 to 1257, his treatment of the end of all things had been dispassionate.72 Following the Scandal of the Eternal Evangel, such eschatological speculation by a Franciscan was properly detached and distant. Speaking to his fellow Franciscans after sixteen years of governing and defending the order, however, he returns to the same themes that had produced the condemnation of Gerard and the deposition of his predecessor. His preoccupation with ecclesiastical crises suggests that he has arrived at an eschatological understanding of the process of history. As he organizes the data of the past, Bonaventure turns to the angels of the Apocalypse. Just as the Joachites before (and after)



him had speculated on the clues these angels provided about the nature of history, so too did Bonaventure see in the angels that John witnessed on the island of Patmos the mysterious signs which clarified the process of history. In these angels he unraveled the secrets of the trials and triumph of the church, the special mission of Francis, and the eschatological role of the Franciscan order. In addition to his concern for the crisis of radical Aristotelianism, Bonaventure also identifies the persecutions of the Emperor Frederick II, the election of antipopes, the tribulations of the Franciscan order, and the occupation of the churches of the East by the Saracens as signs of an imminent revolution in the church.73 The church clearly seemed beset by plagues, catastrophes, and turmoils. While Innocent III had hoped to reform the church through the decrees of IV Lateran, many members of the ecclesiastical hierarchy seemed incapable or unwilling to implement the reforms. The Italian bishops in particular seem to have been uninterested in shepherding their dioceses, and hence, south of the Alps, the friars were the most vigorous members of the active church.74 In Bonaventure's and Francis's homeland, the Franciscans thus seemed to offer the leading hope for a revival of the Christian religion. Bonaventure interprets the dilemmas of the present typologically, in terms of the past ages of the church. Contemporary events correspond to events revealed in the Old and New Testaments. As the Joachites had speculated that the end of the present age was near, Bonaventure too seems to suggest that a new age had arrived or was about to arrive. As Gerard had seen Francis as the key to these events, Bonaventure suggests that the arrival of the angel bearing the seal of the living God has heralded a new age. Thus he reads the attacks of the emperors Henry IV and Frederick II on the church in terms of Apocalypse 7:2. 75 The angel with the seal of the living God must seal all of the faithful in the midst of these assaults upon the church. Francis, so it seems, was to save the faithful from evil emperors. In the twenty-second collation of the Hexaemeron, Bonaventure uses the nine orders of angels to analyze and interpret the nine grades of the ecclesiastical hierarchy.76 In this particular passage, he reveals his final thoughts on Francis, the Franciscans, angels, and the Apocalypse. He divides the nine orders of each into three groups—the active, those who combine active and contemplative lives, and those who are pure contemplatives. Thus laypeople, those most concerned with temporal affairs, correspond to the lowest orders of angels—the angels, archangels, and principalities. Clerics, who must minister to laypeople as well as pray, correspond to the middle order of angels—the powers, virtues, and dominions. Finally, the religious occupy the highest triad, and here Bonaventure reveals his ultimate views on the roles of Francis and the Franciscans in the economy of salvation. Bonaventure identifies the traditional monastic orders with the thrones, for both approach God by supplication. He links the Franciscans (and Dominicans) with the cherubim. The name of this order signifies "fullness of knowledge" and Bonaventure argues that the Franciscans and cherubim share speculation, study, and knowledge as their road to God. Finally, in a curious and ambiguous passage, Bonaventure identifies Francis with the seraphim: The third manner [of contemplation] is concerned with those who attend to God by means of elevation, that is, through ecstasy and rapture. And he [Bonaventure] said,



what is this ? This is the Seraphic order. It seems that Francis belonged to it. And he [Bonaventure] said that he [Francis] was in ecstasy before even receiving the habit, . . . This indeed is the most difficult, that is elevation, for the whole body is shaken, and unless there be some consolation of the Holy Spirit, it could not survive. And in these things the Church is consummated. But what this order is to be, or already is, it is hard to know. . . . This order will not flourish unless Christ appears and suffers in His mystical body. And he [Bonaventure] said that this apparition of the Seraph to Blessed Francis, . . . showed that this order was to correspond to this one [the Seraph], but that Francis was to attain it through hardships. In this vision there were great mysteries.77

This curiously suggestive passage raises many questions about Bonaventure's understanding of Francis and the order. What did Bonaventure mean by these angelic identifications? Why did he separate Francis's angelic identification from the Franciscans'? What did he mean by the consummation of the church? Indeed, did he ever finally resolve any of these questions, which had commanded his attention from his early days at the University of Paris? Bonaventure's own evaluation of his order in other texts reveals several clues about this mysterious identification between Francis, the Franciscans, and the two highest orders of angels. For the Seraphic Doctor, the Franciscans of his age were hardly worthy of being seraphic. In 1209, when Francis provided his followers with theit first rule (now lost), the Order of Friars Minor numbered 12. By 1260, the year of Bonaventure's first chapter as minister general, the order claimed approximately 17,500 ftiars.78 While the earliest followers of Francis led exemplary lives, Bonaventure recognized the failings of his own generation, the second, of Franciscans. In a letter to the ministers of the chapters circulated on his election in 1257, Bonaventure lists the problems with the order. Franciscans suffered from idleness, instability, excessive begging, and too much concern for developing sources of revenue (such as performing burials) .79 The minister general's anxiety over the future of the order was so great that he refused the archbishopric of York when Clement IV offered it to him in 1265 because he did not want to leave the office of minister general (Clement had hoped that Bonaventure would assist Henry III with the nobles and church of England). Bonaventure perceived that his order had the potential to become a special community dedicated to healing and reviving the disordered and misdirected regular church. Through their active apostolate and their pure prayers, the Franciscans could perhaps revitalize the thirteenth-century church. For Bonaventure, the Franciscans offered such hope because the history of the order paralleled the history of the early years of Christ's church. Both the Apostles and the Friars Minor began their mission with a small number of humble, ill-trained men and both progressed to include the most learned and saintly men in Christendom, men such as the Fathers and Alexander of Hales. 80 Bonaventure's answer to the problems facing the order was to adhere to the Regula Bullata (the rule confirmed by formal papal bull, which provided the church's official statement of Franciscan practices), to collate and firmly establish the constitutions and rules that had evolved, and to write the definitive life of Saint Fran-



cis.81 Just as he sought uniformity in the life of Francis, so he sought uniformity and organization in the constitutions of the order. The logical, systematic training in theology he had received from Alexander of Hales led him to organize and systematize the rules and procedures for the order. Bonaventure also actively addressed the problems of the entire church, preaching at synods and before popes and cardinals. (In 1271, he was instrumental in securing the election of Tedaldo Visconti, whom he had met at the University of Paris, as Pope Gregory X.) 82 For Bonaventure, the order was to address the ills of the church from within, by guiding the existing hierarchy with words and examples. He died at the Council of Lyons, attempting to reunite the Eastern and Western churches of Christendom. As part of his agenda to reform the order and the church, Bonaventure had returned to the image of the six-winged seraph. In April 1263, before the General Chapter of that year, he composed his Six Wings of the Seraphim, a treatise for religious superiors. (Similarly, Salimbene de Adam dedicated a significant portion of his Cronica to his "Book of the Prelate" in order to provide advice for ecclesiastical leadership; Franciscans were keenly aware of the need for effective church administration.)83 Each of the six wings, he argues, suggests an important virtue for the leaders of the church's institutions. He identifies these virtues: the zeal for justice, kindness, patience, an exemplary life, provident discernment, and devotion to God. In particular, the proper training of beginners requires that their superiors embody such gifts. Bonaventure remains here keenly concerned about the corporate and institutional survival of the church. The six-winged seraph, so crucial to the story of Francis, points to a revitalization of the church hierarchy. By meditating on each of the six wings, Bonaventure arrives at a formula for ecclesiastical leadership. In addition to the mystical and scholastic dimensions of the seraphim explored in this text and elsewhere, the wings here serve as a mnemonic aid. Because they are such a striking image, and because these angels are the highest order of creation, they serve as the type of ideal tool described in Frances Yates's The Art of Memory, a study of mnemonic techniques from antiquity to the Renaissance.84 Just as the six-winged seraph, the supreme creature of the heavens, provides the keys to ecclesiastical reform and to the mind's journey to God, so too does it hold the key to Bonaventure's understanding of the eschatological roles of Francis and the order. Thus, in the twenty-second collation of the Hexaemeron, his conception of the angelic orders provides the clues that integrate Bonaventure's view of the Apocalypse and the church. His comparison of Francis and the Franciscans with the two highest orders constitutes his final response to the heretical implications of Gerard's work and the role of Joachism in the Franciscan order. Bonaventure accepts certain elements of the radical Joachite position but rejects its most dangerous conclusions. In contrast to Aquinas, who rejected Joachism flatly, the Seraphic Doctor remained intrigued by its claims, and indeed the question of whether Bonaventure was himself a Joachite has been raised by some scholars. Marjorie Reeves argues, for example, that by following John of Parma's association of Francis as the sixth angel, the Seraphic Doctor was a Joachite. 85 (Bonaventure never directly condemned Gerard's own work, and while it is inconceivable that he was not exposed to the Liber Introductorius directly or indirectly, it remains im-



possible to determine if he ever read the text.) Ultimately, however, the Hexaemeron rejects the radical reading of the role of Francis and the Franciscan order for two reasons, one institutional, the other theological. Bonaventure remained too devoted to the existing ecclesiastical hierarchy to embrace the most radical ideas of Gerard and the Spirituals. In a sermon delivered to his fellow Franciscans, he invoked a monastic tradition and implored the poor men to contemplate the workings of the heavenly hierarchy; as the lower angels obey without hesitation or question the commands of the higher angels, so should the members of the ecclesiastical hierarchy obey their superiors.86 The Franciscans were to reform the church from within, not replace it. Further, even if they were to revitalize the church, Bonaventure's own experience with the order suggested that they had to correct their own flaws and shortcomings first. More importantly, Bonaventure's theology was far too Christocentric for him to accept the claims of Gerard. Gerard had proclaimed a new revelation and a new dispensation, whereas both Joachim and Bonaventure sought new understandings of the Old and New Testaments. Bonaventure repeatedly affirms the eternal dispensation of the New Testament. Indeed, the Seraphic Doctor, preserving the validity of the New Testament while raising the stature of Francis, records Francis's claim to be the "herald . . . of a great king."87 As a herald Francis also assumes the roles of John the Baptist and Elias. Such typological, Christologically directed associations were not uncommon, as the Legenda Aurea's discussion of John the Baptist illustrates. In this compilation of saints' lives, John, following biblical typologies (e.g., Luke 1:17), is seen as another Elijah. And as a herald or messenger, he is appropriately compared to each of the nine orders of angels and their roles in the divine economy.88 For Bonaventure, Francis precedes the return of Christ, as the angels of the Old Testament preceded the Incarnation. Francis did not, as Christ did, establish a new community of apostles, a new holy church with a new evangelical mission. Rather he illuminated the path for other Christians to follow in order to return to Christ. In the Itinerarium Mentis ad Deum, Bonaventure had developed the distinction between the cherubim and seraphim in order to highlight the process that leads Christians to ecstatic raptures. This distinction provides the keys to reading the mysterious twenty-second collation of the Hexaemeron.89 The cherubim signify the fullness of knowledge, but the seraphim embody the perfection of the creaturely love of God. In the final two chapters of the Itinerarium, Bonaventure delineates clearly the different virtues of the cherubim and the seraphim. The cherubim signify knowing God according to His unity, His trinity, His goodness, according to principles which can be grasped cognitively. The seraphim, however, and indeed Francis himself, signify the culmination of the creature's return to God; they experience an ecstatic rapture, feeling the immediate presence of divinity. Those who contemplate God only in speculative knowledge must yet pass into this higher state of existence. Francis and many of his followers had recommended not knowledge and speculative contemplation but mortifications of the flesh and rigorous ascetic practices as the soul's road to God. Bonaventure substitutes knowledge for asceticism for two reasons.90 First, he remained throughout his life a devoted scholastic theolo-



gian. He passionately pursued rigorous theological arguments and careful exegetical analysis from his earliest works through his last writings. He remained devoted to the training he had received from Alexander of Hales in Paris. Second, Bonaventure preferred speculative knowledge to self-mortification because he apparently was incapable of following Francis's program of fasts and self-negation. He himself admits that his frail constitution and his weak health prevented him from engaging in the kinds of practices Francis had recommended.91 Thus the Seraphic Doctor substitutes speculative knowledge for self-inflicted torments, and the distinctions between the cherubim and seraphim provide the conceptual tools for describing the mind's journey to God. Bonaventure draws on Francis's experience with the seraphim but adds the image of the cherubim, those who signify the fullness of knowledge, in order to arrive at a new understanding of the Franciscan mission. In his own terms, the Seraphic Doctor was himself more of a cherub than a seraph. He remains a doctor, a man of theological speculation, above all else. Only Francis is truly seraphic, truly capable of being rapt in seraphic ecstasies; only he is worthy of being an apocalyptic angel. Thus, only he, not his order, is capable of showing the church the way from the church militant to the church triumphant. Bonaventure stresses that Francis was seraphic even before he accepted the habit. Further, he notes that the spiritual gifts of individuals transcend their places in the formal ecclesiastical ranks; "for sometimes a lay person may be more perfect than a religious."92 Francis's spiritual perfection and not the institution of a perfect order was his distinguishing characteristic. The seventh successor of the poverello was too orthodox a theologian to argue that any ecclesiastical institution could define itself as a pure order. The Franciscans are cherubic not only because they do not share Francis's gifts but also because they have receded from their former practices. Bonaventure chastised the Franciscan audience of the Hexaemeron, accusing them of dereliction of habits.93 For him, the order's greatest role now lay in the realm of speculation, exegesis, and theology, not in the seraphic realm of ecstatic rapture. Thus, Alexander of Hales, the first friar to hold a chair in Paris, became for Bonaventure the representative Franciscan. The Seraphic Doctor abandons his earlier angelic typology of mixed activity and contemplation in favor of pure speculation for several reasons. Bonaventure remained a scholastic and retained his love of the purity of scholastic thought throughout his life. The life of the angels, which humanity would share, was primarily an intellectual and spiritual life; the active life would not form a part of the Beatific Vision. Bonaventure thus assigns the life of combined active ministry and contemplation to the clerical orders who administer sacraments, minister to the laity, and preside over the church hierarchy.94 As the church's temporal existence approaches its end, the need for prayer and mystical raptures supersedes an active ministry. The Franciscan speculatives are consequently to anticipate the new age of the church through their devout speculative and contemplative pursuits. Bonaventure speculates about the signs of a new era of the church, but he characteristically remains ambiguous and hesitant. He claims that a new age seems ready to appear. The tribulations of the church suggest that a new understanding of Scripture will soon arrive,95 which will be in the possession of either a single




person or perhaps a great number (more probably the latter), but he remains uncertain. Similarly, he remains unsure about the precise arrival of the new age of the church. His obsession with understanding the Apocalypse and its angels suggests that he expects an imminent transformation of some sort, but his text contains no hint of the mathematical precision of Joachim and Gerard. More importantly, never does he suggest that any members of the current church are to be replaced, cast out, or assaulted. Thoroughly orthodox in his Apocalyptics, he confirms the value of the existing church while simultaneously hinting at its transformation. Because of the coming of Francis, he can in fact expect that there will be a seraphic order, and in this new mode of spiritual existence, "the Church is consummated." Nevertheless, he states, "But what this order is to be, or already is, is hard to know." The vision of the six-winged seraph clearly contains the clues to understanding the fulfillment of the church, but he concludes indecisively, "In this vision, there were great mysteries."96 Ultimately Bonaventure refuses to present his definitive views. The transcription of the text suggests that this passage of the Hexaemeron, so crucial to his vision of Francis and the order, was the result of spontaneous speculation and not tightly reasoned and argued ideas. This portion of the text, unlike most of the rest of the Hexaemeron, contains many references to Bonaventure as a speaker ("He said . . ."), which suggests that he has deviated from his carefully prepared sermon and has decided to engage in speculative wanderings. It seems appropriate, however, that he remains elusive at this juncture. He had affirmed the importance of Francis and he had pointed to the dawn of a new age of the church. By remaining ambiguous about the seraphic order and by limiting the Franciscans to the cherubic order, he could affirm Francis's status and his mission while not excluding those members of the church who were not of his order. Bonaventure points the entire ecclesiastical hierarchy toward Francis and the seraphim, but he does not suggest that the secular clergy, the rest of the church, or even the Friars Minor are incapable of attaining the grace appropriate to the seraphic order. In this final synthesis, Francis thus remains an apocalyptic angel, but an angel that anticipated the reform of the entire church, not its overthrow. Conclusion to Part III: Angelic Popes, Franciscans, and Condemnations As Salimbene's Cronica, the Actus, the Fioretti, and Bonaventure's diverse writings all reveal, thirteenth-century Franciscans lived in a world permeated by angels. They saw themselves in angelic terms, and as followers of an angel of the Apocalypse, they expected other eschatological angels and signs to appear. The angels of Scripture—both the stable atemporal hierarchies and the radical angels of history—were vital to the Franciscans of Bonaventure's era. Despite the Seraphic Doctor's attempts to reform the order and to keep the Franciscans within the bounds of orthodoxy, many friars after Bonaventure (particularly the Spirituals) continued to arrive at heretical conclusions about Francis, the Apocalypse and its angels, and the order. Bonaventure's affirmation that Francis was the sixth angel of the Apocalypse provided Franciscans with an orthodox authority for their het-



erodoxical and heretical speculations. Thus Ubertino di Casale (1259-ca. 1330), a leading Spiritual, appealed to the Seraphic Doctor in his own discussion of the apocalyptic mission of Francis.97 Another Franciscan Spiritual, Peter Olivi (1248-98), following in the footsteps of Joachim and other Franciscans such as Alexander of Bremen, wrote a commentary on the Apocalypse, the Postilla super Apocalypsim (1297). The question of the identity of the angels of the Apocalypse naturally commanded his attention. He speculated, for example, that the seven angels with seven trumpets of Apocalypse 8:2 referred to the doctors of the church. Similarly, Francis was also the angel of Apocalypse 10:1-7 (who placed his right foot on the sea) because he had crossed the waters to convert the Saracens.98 Olivi met Bonaventure when he was a student in Paris and was greatly influenced by the angelology of the Collatimes in Hexaemeron. Olivi also wrote a commentary on Pseudo-Dionysius's Celestial Hierarchy, and his prologue, the Quaestio de angelicis influentis, is thoroughly scholastic in its subject and methodology. Like Bonaventure, he combined both a dispassionate, academic interest in angels with a passionate apocalyptic angelology. In turn, one of Olivi's followers, Prouse Boneta, later identified him as one of the angels of the Apocalypse. Francis naturally remained the sixth angel, and Boneta likewise proclaimed herself an apocalyptic angel." Other movements that were dissatisfied with the church also displayed a keen interest in eschatological themes and the angels of the Apocalypse. About two years after Olivi's death in 1298, the heretic Fra Dolcino published a manifesto that identified the seven angels of the seven churches of the Apocalypse.100 He cites seven worthies in the history of the church: Saint Benedict, Saint Sylvester, Francis, Dominic, Gerard of Parma (one of his fellow heretics), himself, and the holy pope who was about to come and save the church. Throughout the latter half of the thirteenth century, many had hoped for such an angelic pope. (The belief in such a figure came from the Eastern church and its interest in the ninth- and tenth-century Leo oracles concerning the future of the Byzantine empire.) As Marjorie Reeves has demonstrated, the need to preserve continuity with the existing church and the belief that the contemporary church was held captive by the Antichrist led the Spirituals and others to anticipate an "Angelic Pope," whose coming had been foretold. In some sense, Joachim himself had anticipated such a pope. He expected that in the trying times of the end of the second age, the pope would be a great leader.101 As an angel, the leader of the church would be a divine messenger of ecclesiastical revolution; as a pope, he would also be a member of the church hierarchy. He could reform the church from within and thus preserve apostolic continuity. Although the earliest mention of this belief in the West came from Roger Bacon (Opus Tertium, XXIV, written 1267/8), widespread anticipation of such a pope did not exist until the election of the hermit-pope Celestine V in 1294. (Salimbene stated that as early as 1271 someone had composed verses saluting a holy pope who is indeed angelic.)102 The desire for a return to apostolic simplicity and the establishment of a new age filled with dedication to the Church of Christ seemed to require divine intervention in the form of an angelic mission. The idea of an angelic pope offered hope to those wishing for a reformation of the sinful



church. Angels, here embodying the virtuous qualities the monks had adored, stood clearly in contrast to the corruptions of the thirteenth-century church— fraud, illicit litigation, greed, arrogance. Similarly, the mid-fourteenth-century would-be reformer of Rome, Cola di Rienzo, himself influenced by heretical Franciscans, had images of angels rescuing Rome and the church painted on the castle Sant' Angelo as part of his propaganda campaign.103 So widespread was the idea of an angelic pope in the later Middle Ages that the prophecies came to be applied even to Luther. Ultimately, however, Pope John XXII condemned Olivi's Postilla (1326) and formally dissolved the Spirituals in 1317, condemning their views on absolute poverty and burning four of their number the following year. (Fra Dolcino had suffered a similar end, and Cola di Rienzo's body would be dragged through Rome before being burned.) In Dante's Paradiso, the soul of the Seraphic Doctor continued his earthly mission, criticizing both the lax and Spiritual Franciscans.104 The new age of the spirit apparently never descended on the church, and despite the fervent expectations of many, no further angels of the Apocalypse appeared. (Indeed, many later representations of Apocalypse 7:1-4 preserve the apocalyptic tension of imminent destruction while deemphasizing the distinctive person of the sixth angel; see, for example, fig. 5, an early fourteenth-century depiction.) Bonaventure's authority and his prudently ambiguous reading of the apocalyptic Francis, however, endured. Despite the fact that heterodox angelology was intricately involved in the formal condemnations discussed at the conclusions to parts II and III of this study, orthodox angelology—as seen most clearly in the Legenda Maior and in the continued practice of writing Commentaries on the Sentences—remained an integral part of medieval Christendom.


Angels and the Medieval Church

Each September 29, on the Feast of Saint Michael, countless clerics delivered sermons on the archangel and his celestial colleagues. In the cathedrals and churches built during the Middle Ages, angels filled tympana, glass windows, and stone spandrels, artworks that served as the Bible of the unlettered as Gregory the Great had observed. Guides, both persons and texts, at the major cathedrals and pilgrimage sites explained the angels in stained glass, sculpture, and chapels to those who came to worship.1 The physical structure of a church was replete with the presence of angels and stories of angels just as the practices, beliefs, and doctrines of the church were rich in the spirits of heaven. Consequently, clerics and theologians not only explored the importance of angels for particular religious individuals and communities, they also developed their angelologies for the sake of the entire church. Certainly by the thirteenth century, and in many cases earlier, Scripture and the theological and ecclesiastical traditions had generated a set of beliefs and practices concerning angels that have remained important throughout the ongoing evolution of Christianity. Some of these had been present in Christendom from the first days of Christianity (for example, beliefs about guardian angels), and others only recently had become important for the thirteenth-century church (such as the rise of Mariology and the concomitant interest in the archangel Gabriel).2 For the medieval church as a whole, angels and the life of the church were inseparable. Three authors in particular suggest the extent of this close relationship. Jacobus de Voragine (1230-98) in his Legenda Aurea highlighted both the regular intercourse between saints and angels and the ongoing roles of Saint Michael in the lives of all Christians. A Dominican and archbishop of Genoa, he composed his work according to the calendar of the church year. Written between 1255 and 1266, it draws on Scripture, saints' lives, and popular legends as it surveys the feasts and saints in the calendar, explaining their significance and encouraging reverence and devotion. Widely translated into vernacular languages soon after its composition and even printed by Caxton, it became an im-



portant text for many Christians' knowledge of saints and feasts. Not only does the reader encounter the famous scriptural stories involving angels (Abraham and Tobit, for example), the reader also learns how angels rescued, inspired, or prayed alongside other great saints, such as Gregory the Great. The second author, Caesarius of Heisterbach (1180-1240), provides numerous examples of the ways in which angels and ordinary Christians interact. Caesarius' Dialogus Miraculorum (ca. 1223), written primarily for Cistercian novices, presents a dialogue between a monk and a novice. Precisely because it was intended for those barely exposed to the order, the attitudes toward angels it portrays (especially those of the novice) are presumably close to those of the average layperson (thus Aron Gurevich studied it with great profit in his Medieval Popular Culture: Problems of Belief and Perception). Divided into twelve books, it provides edifying stories and examples of important religious rituals and behavior. While demons receive an entire book (book 5), angels are most prominent in book 8, on dreams and visions. Because Caesarius surveys a wide range of religious institutions and phenomena—confession, the powers of Mary, the sacraments, miracles, and death rites—his text provides many useful illustrations of the ways in which men and women used angels to understand their religious practices. The third author who provides significant insights into the relationship between the church and the angels is the Seraphic Doctor. Having inherited many rich, diverse scriptural and ecclesiastical traditions concerning angels from both his intellectual and spiritual mentors Alexander of Hales and Saint Francis, Bonaventure developed these traditions and promulgated a broad angelological agenda for the thirteenth-century church. Genuinely loving the spirits of heaven, he firmly believed that the presence of such intermediaries was a crucial part of the divine economy; whereas the sacraments were a visible sign of an invisible grace, angels were a sometimes-visible, sometimes-invisible sign of invisible grace.3 In a wide variety of texts, Bonaventure draws on the plethora of angelic traditions and seeks to promulgate contemporary devotional angelology. As a Franciscan, he appreciated the importance of vigorous preaching, and five of his Sermons on Angels, delivered on September 29 in unknown years, have survived in whole or in fragments; together they indicate the basic facts concerning angels that Bonaventure thought important to disseminate.4 The Itinerarium Mentis ad Deum draws on angels for an understanding of the mystical path to God. Similarly, both the Soliloquy, a basic devotional treatise, and the complicated Hexaemeron incorporate angels in various ways. Because his ecclesiastical career was so diverse—he was a scholastic, Franciscan, spiritual leader, mystic, and administrator—his writings address nearly every element of thirteenth-century Christianity and angelology. Consequently, his works provide a rich source of insights into medieval devotional practices concerning angels. While these three together constitute a solid foundation for the topic, countless other sources provide significant insights into the roles of angels in the medieval church. Writings on the sacraments, descriptions of journeys to the otherworld, popular stories, prayers, pilgrimages as well as the copious testimony of iconographic depictions of angels all reveal medieval men and women interacting with angels in many ways. What is most interesting to observe is the fact that an-



gels appear not only in predictable locations (such as in sermons on Michael's feast day) but also in texts that might seem to have little direct connection to the spirits of heaven (such as a chronicle or a cartulary recording a donation). Hence part IV draws freely from many different kinds of records and sources. Indeed, the very diversity of material to be considered here testifies both to the ubiquity and the vitality of the spirits of heaven in this period. The ways in which medieval writers integrated their angelologies and their ecclesiologies will be examined as will the ways in which popular religious practices intersected with formal discussions. Medieval Christianity contained a plethora of devotional phenomena. Prayers, the seven sacraments, hymns, mysticism, crusades, pilgrimages, relics, drama, raptures and visions, heresies, saints' cults, and fasts were all features of the church. Similarly, the church itself contained many different types of people—laypeople of all classes, priests, Benedictine, Cistercian, and other orders of monks and nuns, mendicants, scholars, bishops, and popes. The religious and temporal relationships between bishops, lords, monarchs, and the popes also varied greatly from one region to the next. So many different habits and practices comprised the medieval church that it becomes difficult to determine exactly which medieval church(es) was the expected audience for writing and preaching about angels. Bonaventure's own experiences are illuminating. He carefully promotes his angelology in order to steer a middle course between the two extremes of some of his contemporaries. On the one hand, he chastises the philosophi who speak too easily of angels, letting their errant speculations harm their spiritual development. On the other hand, he addresses what may be called a crisis in angelology. Despite the rich traditions concerning angels, some in the thirteenth-century church expressed less devotion to the celestial spirits than he would have wished. A Bishop Guillelmus, for example, finds that he remains uncertain about the angels because of his own sin. If there were angels guarding and protecting him, then he would not be as mired as he is in his iniquity. (The Seraphic Doctor responds that the angels are not to blame for a person's inability to overcome sin; nor is a person's sin proof that angels do not provide assistance.) Regarding preaching about angels, Bonaventure remarks, "There is great negligence!" Many clerics do not name the nine orders of angels nor do they transmit the rudimentary facts about the spirits of heaven.5 Given such a range of clerics, from this bishop to this Franciscan, generalizing about specific angelological practices will be difficult. In undertaking an examination of general or popular religious practices concerning angels in the Middle Ages, this study embarks on what seems to be the least solid footing, the most uncertain territory. One of the common features of modern scholarly treatments of premodern popular piety are the caveats surrounding the nature of the enterprise.6 While it is important to consider not just what theologians preached but also what medieval lay people were practicing with regard to angels, it is by no means clear how to describe such practices or even how to find relevant evidence. The distinction between literate and nonliterate does not seem particularly useful; the popularity of the Legenda Aurea and the nature of Caesarius' Dialogus show how texts blur such dichotomies. Being



lettered, moreover, in no way guaranteed that a person's thinking and spirituality were more learned than popular. It is possible to see glimpses of popular religious practices through clerical writers, as historians have shown, and following their lead the texts studied here are employed with caution. At this stage of research, it is perhaps more useful to consider the possibilities of angelological devotion for the church as a whole rather than try to define with any precision the significance of any one given practice for a specific group of individuals. This chapter thus takes a broad view of the entire church in an effort to provide an overview of the possible range of lay and clerical practices available in the Middle Ages. It is hoped that subsequent research will address each topic in greater detail. Further complicating the problem is that the character of the church in the Middle Ages also remains open to divergent interpretations, as the events of the thirteenth century suggest.7 On the one hand, this century produced the great Fourth Lateran Council and several other reforming synods and councils. The same century saw the flowering of the scholastic summas, the rise of the Dominicans and Franciscans, and the development of the marvelous Gothic cathedrals. This church sought to respond to a laity that since the twelfth century had become increasingly interested in matters of personal religion. Whatever the merits and demerits of self-flagellation, for example, the flagellants believed that they were able to take part in their own salvation to an extent unknown to the laity of previous centuries. Although they represent an extreme example, they suggest the extent to which Christians of the thirteenth century were seeking to participate in a religious life of some sort. Vernacular translations of Scripture appeared, and sermons focused not on judgment and hell (as they had in previous centuries), but on personal spiritual and ethical questions. IV Lateran had made annual confession a requirement, and the Franciscans helped to popularize penance. Like flagellation, doing penance for one's sins allowed the Christian to take a more active role in his or her own salvation. In a real sense, the laity of the thirteenth century received far better religious training than their predecessors had for many centuries. And in the "last man to bear witness to Christendom," Dante Alighieri, the century of Aquinas, Francis, and Dominic also produced the greatest Christian synthesis of spirituality, doctrine, Scripture, and theology.8 On the other hand, the thirteenth-century church also exhibited both indolence and repression. Although church councils promulgated wide-ranging reforms, the implementation of these reforms was in the hands of the bishops. And, as Robert Brentano has shown, not every bishop was a reforming bishop.9 Salimbene, for example, records that as late as the 1280s, despite Innocent 1ll's reformation of church services, for many the services were more tedious than inspiring.10 With the papacy of Gregory IX (1227-41), the Inquisition increased in power dramatically, though this institution was but the most infamous element of what R. I. Moore has called "a persecuting society." And in 1252, torture became an approved method of securing justice. While the church canonized Saint Francis, the church also condemned many of those who sought to follow him faithfully such as the Franciscan Spirituals. Similarly, the, members of a spiritually-charged lay movement, also came under suspicion in the thirteenth century. Pope Boniface declared 1300 to be a year of great celebration for the



church, but within a few years, he was captured by the mercenaries of the king of France. Dante's Divine Comedy contains not only the beatified spirits of great preachers and inspiring teachers but also the damned souls of wicked popes and sinful clerics. The presence of so much sin in the face of church ideals and the survival of pagan or folkloric practices have led to the debate over whether the Middle Ages should be seen as either Catholic or Christian at all.11 Without settling the issue of whether the period was Christian or whether the church was vital and vigorous, it is possible to discuss broadly what medieval Christians were thinking and doing with regard to angels. After all, at perhaps no other time in the history of European Christianity has the Christian community shared more common beliefs and practices than in the Middle Ages. While different classes and communities of medieval Christians experienced the church differently (and while distinctive traditions need to be examined in their specificity), all Christians participated in the same sacramental system, and they all expressed their spirituality within certain common practices. Moreover, every Christian is born into the world, participates in the church's life, and eventually dies. Hence, the course of an individual's life from birth through death serves here as a basis for exploring how ideas about angels were promulgated to the diverse constituencies of the medieval church. Exploring the various religious practices that an Everyman could encounter as he or she progressed through life's stages reveals the points of contact between angels and any given person's religious life. The stages of birth, maturation, adulthood, and death suggest themselves as a logical and useful division of the course of a life. Biological developments, the acceptance of social responsibilities, and participation in religious practices such as the sacraments demarcate these periods. The first stage, birth and maturation, contains such events as baptism, the divine appointment of the guardian angel, the acceptance of holy orders or marriage. The second stage, adulthood, requires division into further categories: regular and daily practices (such as prayers), annual practices (such as participating in the feast of Saint Michael), and special practices (such as having visions or being a mystic). Finally, the last stage, death, is one of the most important areas of medieval religious practices involving angels. As a man or woman died, he or she prepared to join the ranks of the angels, and thus the whole range of funerary practices and soteriological expectations become intimately connected with angelology. By uniting this useful heuristic framework of the stages of a life with representative and illustrative sources, the last two chapters of this study examine the ways in which angels and the great array of medieval religious practices intersect. It becomes possible to see the ways in which beliefs about angels comprise one element of the diversity of medieval Christianity.

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I • G• H• T

Birth, Maturation, and the Regular Religious Practices of Adults

Conception, Demonic Assaults, and the Guardian Angel The Seraphic Doctor declared that from the very moment of conception, a human being and his or her guardian angel are connected. Because he believed that a soul is capable of being tempted by the demons even before birth, he argued that an angel must guard the soul of a person as soon as it is poured into the womb. Aquinas, by contrast, concentrated on the use of reason as the central issue involving cooperation with a guardian angel. He argued that a guardian angel was not appointed until birth, the time at which being a rational creature begins (he also rejects baptism as the moment of receiving the angel, a view held by, for example, Peter Damian). Until then, the mother's angel appropriately protected the fetus, as the two humans were not yet separated.1 Such theological reflection indicates that properly understanding guardian angels is important for the soteriological struggle of human beings. Scholastics (as well as writers such as Caesarius and Jacobus) all agreed that in some way all humans have a guardian angel.2 Ultimately following the patristic reading of Matthew 18:10, Acts 12:15, and Tobit 3:25, clerics asserted that God has ordained an angel to watch over the welfare of each individual soul. (This patristic interpretation itself was influenced by Greek ideas about personal demons or attendant spirits.) The medieval church received this tradition via the GJossa Ordinaria, which contains many anagogical exegeses concerning guardian angels. And because Peter Lombard had raised the question of the guardian angel in his Sentences, the scholastics examined extensively the beliefs and doctrines concerning such spiritual assistance in their Commentaries on the Sentences. The Master's text provided the formal occasion for the elaboration of the medieval church's most detailed considerations of these particular angels. The scholastics' explanations of the doctrine of the guardian angels draw on a number of diverse arguments. Scripture, the Glossa, reason, the universal law, and basic piety all confirmed for them that humans are guarded by the angels. These angels are vital elements of human ethical decision-making, and in the quaestiones of their Com161



mentaries, or in their own summas if they developed them, the scholastics vigorously asserted and explained the ways in which these spirits protect their charges from the temptations of the demons. Invisibly, spiritually, they can lead and guide their charges and give them some assistance in the ongoing battle against Satan's minions. (These spirits sometimes had less spiritual duties as well; as John Boswell has shown, the doctrine of guardian angels figured in patristic discussions of God's caring for abandoned children.)3 Scholastic commentary on Lombard's work further reveals the intense desire to develop a firm foundation for reconciling the work of the guardian angels with the efforts of individual humans. Many twelfthcentury scholastics such as Alexander Nequam had not been concerned to explore in any detail the problematic relationship between angelic intervention and the status of human merit.4 But in the thirteenth century, these questions were of paramount importance because theologians had come to place a much greater emphasis on the role of human nature and natural human efforts than had commentators in previous centuries. In his explanation of the doctrine of these spirits, Bonaventure responds to a number of possible arguments against the existence of guardian angels raised by this focus on human nature and natural merit. He argues that the assistance of these angels does not affect human free will, nor does having a guardian angel diminish the merit of the saints.5 The assistance of these angels does aid human effort, but the spiritual rewards of correct moral choices remain. Similarly, the doctrine does not diminish the importance of God in human salvation, since He is present in the angels' work. This spiritual assistance is a manifestation of God's "cooperating grace" not his "operating grace."6 The guardian angels cannot save or redeem humanity, but they can cooperate with a person's own spiritual efforts. The angels perform this ministry partly because of their love for God and partly because of their desire to see the salvation of humans and the reparation of the angelic hierarchies. The Seraphic Doctor's doctrine of guardian angels, then, exemplifies the new understanding of the harmony of nature and grace characteristic of thirteenth-century scholasticism. Aquinas's treatment of these celestial assistants likewise exhibits this vision of the cooperation of human nature and divine grace. Angelic illumination and advice can always be rejected, as an allegorical reading of Jeremiah 51:9 suggests: "We [the guardian angels] would have healed Babylon [uncooperative souls] but she was not healed."7 Not only the scholastics but also clerics writing for nonacademic audiences investigated guardian angels. Again in continuity with patristic tradition, Caesarius and Jacobus both assert that there are two spirits with humans from birth on, a good, protective angel, and a wicked tempting demon (unfortunately, the good angel, having seen everything, will also bear witness against the soul's many sins before a judging God).8 As Caesarius explores the relationship between human, angel, and demon, he enters the great story of the understanding of the drama of the human psyche from the Greek philosophers to the present. Caesarius seeks to examine why it is that people are torn between right and wrong, vice and virtue, sin and rectitude. As he develops his explanation of human psychology, angels, both good and wicked, inform him of how he is to understand his own behavior. Caesarius assigns a major role to the demons. He does not dwell, however, on the



specific powers of the guardian angel. While he portrays several angels in his Didlogus, he rarely identifies a particular angel as a guardian angel. In 1.8, he explicitly refers to such an angel (and perhaps one is intended in 8.42), but on the whole it seems that when a person sees an angel, the angel does not have to be his or her specific guardian. When comparing the apparent powers of the two spirits given from birth, Caesarius suggests that the evil angel seems to have more power over a person because of the "countless delights" of the world that are the "fuel of the [sinful] flesh."9 Neither spirit can force a person to behave good or ill, but a person's proclivities lead him or her away from the righteous path. The greatest assistance against the demons comes not from the guardian angels, but from Christ and from Mary. While the angel is given at birth, the Christian will come to believe as an adult in the greater powers of the God-man and His mother. Still, for many medieval writers, the intercession of a guardian angel could be identified in something quite simple (such as moving Peter the Venerable to write a letter to Bernard of Clairvaux) or in something politically significant (such as saving Eleanor of Aquitaine from an ambush by Geoffrey of Anjou). Figure 9 shows guardian angels protecting a knight in combat, an important image of hope for warriors. The doctrine of guardian angels helped to explain not only motivations but also what ancient historians would have called Fortune. In explorations of the causes of human events, these angels resemble the Christianization of Fortune through the use of the order of principalities in Aquinas, Bernard, and canto VII of the Inferno.10 Other sources further indicate medieval interactions with these angels. Winchester Cathedral (constructed about 1230), for example, contains a chapel dedicated to the guardian angels. Those who directed the planning of the cathedral chose to focus devotional attention on these spirits in place of any number of saints. This chapel would have been an ideal location to offer a prayer to one's guardian angel. Such prayers had existed from the Carolingian period, but they were by no means a universal element in collections of prayers. In the ninth century, Amalarius of Metz, quoting from the gradual for the Quadragesima Mass marking the beginning of Lent, states that the passage from the antiphon "the angels of the Lord shall watch over us" is an affirmation of one of the ways in which God protects Christians during the strife and tribulation of Lent.1l In the thirteenth century, the church added a prayer to the guardian angels to the liturgy (it was not until 1608 that the Feast of the Guardian Angels was established). Such antiphons and prayers to these spiritual protectors constitute one important way in which angels and humans interacted. But while Christians may have guardian angels, how would they address them in a prayer or a chapel? The three angels with authorized names belong to the order of archangels, not angels, and hence they would not have such a duty. Scripture suggested that the names of angels were incomprehensible to humans, and some medieval encounters likewise reveal the obscurity of angelic appellations. In Judges 13:18, the angel who appears to Samson's parents refuses to give them his name because it is mirabile. In the Actus bead Francisd et sociorum ejus, the angel who spoke with Brother Bernard repeats almost precisely the words spoken to Samson's parents, "Quid quaeris nomen meum quod est mirabile"; other stories repeat this same pattern. 12 Thus a Christian seems to have a rather impersonal guardian



(even though theologians affirmed that angels were indeed personal beings, not abstract spiritual powers). While the church authorized only three names for angels, the history of angelology also suggests recurring human desires to communicate with angels more personally. The condemnations of naming angels other than Raphael, Gabriel, and Michael that occurred in the eighth and ninth centuries were probably responses to vestiges of paganism and pagan magical practices that lingered throughout the Carolingian empire (as shall be discussed later in this chapter). The two angels recorded in a vision of Alberic of Settefrati (early eleventh century) have the names Emmanuel and Eligius. Similarly, the stories of Saint Patrick often provide the name of Victorinus for the angel who assists him. Hence, it is hardly surprising that a twelfth-century prayer to the guardian angel assumes a personal relationship between the angel and the ward. The angel is addressed as amicus, a "friend" and as comes, a "count"; the human seeks to persist in the comitatus, the "retinue" or "following" of the angelic presence. Similarly, the person who addresses the guardian angel invites the angel to speak to him frequently about God and the saints in heaven. In these diverse sources, it appears that medieval Christians sought to personalize their relationship to the supernatural world and to their guardians in particular. Many of these prayers stress the weakness of the will and the near-inevitability of sinning. The weaker the soul was seen to be, the more the soul required the assistance of a spirit that cannot be weak. Further, the great advantage of one's guardian angel is that the angel is always with the individual. Thus, an eleventh-century prayer to a guardian angel celebrates the security of the angelic presence despite any temporal or geographical changes.13 The guardian angels represented to medieval Christians the perpetual possibility of divine aid. Consequently, a question of great soteriological significance was whether a person's obstinacy could cause the guardian angel to abandon him or her. If a person could lose the angel, could he or she still be saved? Bonaventure reveals his horror at the thought of betraying the angels in his Soliloquy: When I look upon my sin in the proper light, I see and realize that, in my iniquity, I perverted the elements, befouled the skies, darkened the heavenly bodies, tormented the reprobate in hell, offended the saints in heaven, spurned the angels in charge of my soul in such a way that I am afraid to ask them for help.14

In this passage, Bonaventure identifies the guardian angels of his soul (here plural, suggesting perhaps the entire hierarchy of angels) with the creation and the saints as part of the gifts of God that the reprobate denies and disgraces. Both he and Aquinas, however, affirmed that a person cannot lose his or her guardian angel; even the sinner is unable to turn away the gracious assistance of the angels.15 (Neither does excommunication from the church's sacraments drive the guardian angel away, the Seraphic Doctor argued.) Similarly, a twelfth-century prayer celebrates the most merciful nature of the Christian religion by praising the guardian angel who never leaves the side of even the most wretched sinner.16 The guardian angel thus offered the undying hope of the gracious assistance of God. Ultimately, for most medieval Christians, the crucial attribute of the guardian angels was this



perpetual presence. They represented a hope for salvation that transcended the weakness of the will. Although the saints were seen to cooperate with their angels in different degrees according to their merits (and thus ultimately would join their different ranks in heaven), the reprobate could also have hope that despite their apparent infirmity, their angels were assisting them in their spiritual struggles. Knowledge of this angelic presence reminded the Christian that God's mercy remained potentially present in his or her life even when in sin or when excommunicated. Baptism and Joining the Angelic Community While for most medieval theologians the soul received its guardian angel before or at its birth, the newborn's first encounter of the church, of joining its society, would have been at its baptism. And here, as with other rituals and sacraments, angels could be connected to the ritual. While baptisteries were dedicated normally in the name of Saint John the Baptist, occasionally the designers of a church would dedicate a baptistery in the name of Michael (such a dedication echoed the healing abilities ascribed to Michael particularly by the Orthodox church).17 Baptistries in Florence and Saint Mark's in Venice symbolized the new spiritual network joined through baptism by displaying the nine orders of angels on the ceiling. Medieval artists also frequently depicted an angel at the baptism of Christ (see figure 3). The angel carried a fresh garment, symbolizing the new life of baptism. In the early church, when infant baptism was practiced but not necessarily the norm, the relationship between baptism and angels seems to have been more important.18 The significance of angels at baptism increased in the early third century, when the church replaced a relatively simple ceremony with an intricate rite designed to represent the great spiritual struggle between the soul and Satan. The act of baptism further represented the catechumen's entrance into the church, into the life of the Christian community, the community of saints and angels. Hence, Tertullian, Origen, Gregory Nazianzus, and Ambrose all speak of the presence of angels at a baptism. Similarly, the Gelasian Sacramentary (dating from no later than the mid eighth century) contains a prayer for the catechumens in which they ask angels to bring them to the baptismal waters. In another indication of the strong associations between angels and adult baptism, the Gregorian Liber Responsalis describes the rituals for baptizing and admitting neophytes into the church. During the vespers service of Easter week neophytes and deacons process to the baptismal font and reenact the visit of the women to the tomb of Christ. The deacons are the angels and the neophytes are the women who learn of the resurrection for the first time. But as infant baptism became the norm (by the thirteenth century, it was expected that the priest would baptize the child in the first week of life), baptism lost some of its significance in the life of the Christian, and the link between the sacrament and receiving the guardian angel became weaker. While the sacrament continued to cleanse humans from the stain of original sin, and while it continued to mark the first stage of sacramental life, it no longer represented regular participation in the life of the church. By the thir-



teenth century, attendance at Mass had become the major sign of participation in the church of angels and saints. In some sense, the angels that appear in various medieval discussions of the Mass represent a shift from the angels of baptism to the angels of the Mass (a subject discussed in a later section). Thus, for example, Bonaventure does not even mention angels in his discussion of baptism in the Breviloquium, whereas he frequently links angels and the Mass in a variety of other texts. Still, the patristic belief in the presence of the angels at baptism was part of the medieval iconographic tradition. Thus, the portals of the Parma Baptistry (begun 1196) depict angels with new clothes awaiting the emergence of the newly baptized from the water. And for some the link between one's guardian angel and baptism remained powerful. In celebration of the memory of baptism, Gertrude the Great recommended addressing one's angel: "Greetings, holy angel of God, guardian of my soul and body. . . . Receive me into your most faithful paternal care."19 Chastity, Marriage, or Intmmarital Chastity Although baptism was universal among European Christians, a young child's spiritual life was greatly determined by socioeconomic status, geographical location, and sex. The child of one era would also have seen a different set of religious prospects than would children of earlier eras. Child oblates, for example, were no longer the norm in the twelfth and thirteenth centuries, and the various religious orders were hence increasingly composed of people who chose to join the order.20 Whereas Bede joined the monastery of Wearmouth at the age of seven, Bonaventure joined the Franciscan order when he was already a student. While the concept of "choice" in the Middle Ages ought to be employed with some caution, it remains significant that the religiously inclined youth of the thirteenth century and later would see a variety of spiritual practices. Membership in specific confraternities and dedication to certain saints might be determined by social status but some options might exist. One of the crucial choices for anyone with religious inclinations would have been the choice of marriage and sexual activity or chastity (which might also include taking formal orders). Part III of this study explored the ways in which the religious orders followed patristic traditions and believed that the chaste life of monks and friars brought them closer to the angels (thus, in the Legenda Aurea, two angels declare to Aquinas that his prayer for chastity has been accepted by God). Similarly, the angels are invoked in clerical discussions of the virtues of virginity for a wider audience. Caesarius explicitly follows Matthew 22:30 in his linking of virgins and angels, and popular saints' lives repeatedly portray angels in the struggles of the saints to preserve their virginity. Thus a French metrical romance of the life of Saint Agnes states that "[a]n angel came down from [hjeaven / And gave her a beautiful white mantle" to cover and protect her when she was taken to a bordello by her persecutors.21 Jacobus also offers an interesting comparison between virgins and angels. Not only does virginity make the virgin a colleague of the angels, it also raises him or her above the angels. Because virgins can be tempted according to their flesh and angels cannot, Jacobus observes that virgins deserve greater re-




ward.22 Whereas the angels theoretically belong to a higher level in the order of nature, the trials of human existence raise a mortal to a higher level in the order of merit. Thus for many Christians, angels would be less helpful than the saints on a wide range of issues that involved the myriad of temptations of the flesh. While angels could remain a model of spiritual perfection, they could not always serve as the most compelling example of how actually to lead a holy life. For some, however, angels could help authorize unusual marital practices. In the second century, an angel appeared to Hermas and told him to abstain from intercourse with his wife. Similarly, an angel helped validate the sexless spiritual marriage of Saint Cecilia and her husband Valerian. Their story was quite popular in the Middle Ages. Both Jacobus's Legenda Aurea and Chaucer's Second Nun's Tale contain versions of it (see also figure 10 for a depiction of the story in a book of hours). As Dyan Elliott argues, "intramarital chastity" was often undertaken in secrecy because it countered social and ecclesiastical norms, and hence a paradigm authorized by heaven was helpful in legitimating its practice (the story of Joseph and Mary, likewise involving an angel, could also serve this function).23 The acceptance of marriage as a sacrament in the twelfth century meant that by the thirteenth century, the institution would have greater soteriological significance. In the patristic church, Tertullian had linked angels to marriage, but he seems to have been unusual in this respect. The role of Raphael in the marriage of Tobias and Sarah provided the basis for one piece of evidence associating angels and marriage. In Sainte-Chapelle, the window displaying the Book of Tobit shows Raphael present at the wedding of the young couple. The story of Sarah and Tobias was an important one for pastoral writers in the thirteenth century as it provided them with an exemplum of a good marriage, and it is not unusual for marriage ceremonies from the medieval and early modern periods to include references to Raphael and this couple in prayers and blessings. Significantly, another window in the chapel depicting the marriage of Joseph and Ruth shows an angel present at the nuptial table although there is no such angel in the scriptural story. Similarly, a page from the Queen Mary Psalter (early fourteenth century) portrays angels at the marriage at Cana even though Scripture does not mention any spirits. In both of these latter cases, the artists are bringing the sacred presence of the celestial messengers of God into their image of the sacrament.24 In these images and discussions of chastity and marriage, angels constitute one element of the discussion; they provide ways of understanding and praising virginity and sanctifying sexuality. While they are nonessential personnel, they are a useful presence. As invisible spirits, they can be imagined to be sanctioning or sanctifying any religious act or practice. In these stained glass depictions of marriage, angels are a way of depicting God's will and His approval of an institution. Angels provide the imagination with a way of conceiving of God's omnipresence and authorization. Regular Devotional Practices The regular medieval religious practices of adults fall into two categories: typical (daily or weekly) practices and annual practices. The first category includes prayers and the Mass and raises again the question of humanity's proper religious



and behavioral responses to the ministrations of the angels. The second encompasses the most important of all examples of piety toward these spirits, the events surrounding the annual Feast of Saint Michael. A third category of adult religious practices involved exceptional devotions and habits (such as mysticism) and will be explored in the subsequent chapter, as they were not commonly shared but were reserved for certain types or classes of Christians. Theoretically, the most regular frequent contact between Christians and the angels came when the angels protected them against the temptations of their malign counterparts, the demons. But Lucifer and his minions seem to have generated far more concern and interest than Michael and the celestial army. While all medieval theologians affirmed the ongoing presence of protective or guardian angels, the topic of the wiles of the demons easily detached itself from the topic of angels. Mary, Christ, a relic, or a prayer were more frequently seen to ward off the evil one.25 As might be expected, the most important angel for protection from demons and from evil was Michael. The story of this archangel's defeat of Satan (Apoc. 12:7-9), for example, was the third most popular image for the enamel crozier heads manufactured in Limoges (see figure 8).26 The triumph of good over evil was a fitting sign for the staff of ecclesiastical authority. As the latter section of this chapter will demonstrate, Michael and his annual feast would provide the medieval period with a concrete focus for thanking and venerating the service of the angels. To see how angels would have manifested themselves on a daily or weekly basis in the lives of believers requires an investigation of two important aspects of typical piety and devotional practices: prayers and the Mass. These topics, in turn, raise the issues of the relationship between angels and Marian piety and the proper human response to the angels of God. Because uncertainties about the proper relationship between Christians and angels were linked to certain issues concerning magical practices, the question of angels and magic will also receive treatment here. Finally, after a discussion of annual religious practices, this discussion of regular interaction with angels concludes with a brief consideration of whether differences between male and female spirituality might have led to differing experiences of angels. Prayers and the Mediation of Angels One of the most important angelological passages in the Apocalypse (8:3) suggests that the angels bear the prayers of the faithful to God: "And another angel came and stood at the altar with a golden censer; and he was given much incense to mingle with the prayers of all the saints upon the golden altar before the throne." Similarly, Raphael reveals his true identity in the book of Tobit (12:15), declaring that he is "one of the seven holy angels who present the prayers of the saints" to God. And in Judges 13, an angel of the Lord is connected with the sacrifice Samson's parents make to God. The early church's interpretation of these passages, according to which the angels helped to transmit prayers, insured, propositionally at least, that angels were involved in one of the most important aspects of religious practice. The belief that spirits transmitted prayers to heavenly powers was also an




element of Middle Platonism. Hence patristic theologians, Origen in particular, were able to combine scriptural and philosophical traditions in their understanding of the role of spirits in prayers. Through their role in the mediation of prayers, angels constituted an important link between the supernatural and the natural worlds.27 Hence it is not unusual to read Bernard of Clairvaux's affirmation that angels are with Christians as they pray and they bear the prayers of the faithful to God. In his Legenda Maior, Bonaventure repeats the maxim that "in prayer we speak to God, hear Him, and converse with the angels as if we were living an angelic life." The very act of prayer draws humans and celestial spirits together. And in a sermon delivered on the Feast of Saint Michael, the Seraphic Doctor argues that because the angels transmit humans' prayers to God, humans can be reconciled to the Lord. Angels are beseeched to pray for mortals as well as to present the prayers of sinners to God. And if the angels present humanity's prayers to God, they themselves can also be the object of human prayers; men and women can pray for the assistance of an angel. But how important were the angels as the mediators of prayers? What were the implication of the stained glass portrait of an angel praying in Sainte-Chapelle? Jacobus enjoined his reader to honor the angels because they present prayers to God, but did his readers accept his advice?28 How did this belief in angelic mediation translate into practice? The major determinants of the use of this doctrine seem to have been the prevailing image of God and the availability of alternative avenues of mediation. In the Brevilaquium, Bonaventure distinguishes between "personal prayer" (which requires no mediators) and "prayer through the saints" (which includes angels as sancti, holy ones). While prayer through the saints signifies the proper relationship between higher and lower members of the body of Christ, angels receive no treatment as the potential bearers of personal prayers.29 Bonaventure, again identifying the range of diverse religious options characteristic of medieval Christianity, thus extends the possibility of both direct and mediated prayers to God. The mediation of angels constitutes one minor but distinct role in these different types of prayer. Indeed, Christian spirituality has at various times (especially in Protestantism) turned away from this type of mediation. Angelic communication of prayers is particularly needed if God seems distant from the believer (as in the Apocalypse). If God is a regal monarch, sitting imperiously and grimly aloof from His subjects, then a system of angelic and saintly intermediaries is helpful indeed. Hence a perpetual limit to beliefs about angels and prayers remained the very concept of God itself. Bonaventure, who combined both the immediate (Augustinian) and hierarchical (Dionysian) ways of the mind's road to God, had room for both types of prayer. God can be both immediate and distant for Bonaventure, and thus he can both have and not have a role for angels in the prayers of the faithful. Furthermore, as the cults of the saints became more important, the role of the angels in prayer became the role of one type of sancti in the transmission of prayers. Thus, while angels remained the holiest of those that pray, and while they remained the epitome of proper creaturely devotion and worship, their role as beings to whom men turn for aid was also circumscribed by the other options available for spiritual mediation.



Again, as might be expected, Michael is the most important angel as a spiritual mediator. A survey of church dedications indicates that such dedications to Michael and to the archangel (meaning Michael) were still quite frequent in the thirteenth century.30 Particularly under Carolingian auspices, earlier centuries had seen great buildings and many chapels rise out of respect for Michael, and their presence in later ages maintained local traditions of the archangel's importance. Between 950 and 1050, major churches such as San Michelle della Chiusa, Saint Michael's of Hildesheim, Michelsberg in Bamberg, Saint-Michel-duTonnerre, and Saint Miguel de Cuixa were established.31 While the shrines of Monte Gargano and Mont-Saint-Michel celebrate the specific appearance of the archangel at each place, the regular dedication of churches in his name testifies to widespread interest in Michael even when he himself did not appear. While Mary clearly predominated, Michael seems to have been quite a popular patron. Even where Michael was not the central patron of a religious building, many cathedrals built altars in his honor, as did Salisbury Cathedral (constructed ca. 1220). Such physical structures dedicated to pure spirits provided those who were not near the great shrines to Michael with a physical place within which to offer their prayers and perhaps appreciate the efforts of the vanquisher of Satan. Marian Devotion and the Importance of Gabriel As intercessors and mediators, angels by the thirteenth century would come to assume a clearly secondary role to one intercessor in particular, the Blessed Virgin Mary. In another interesting twist of exegetical history, a passage that would insure the presence of angels in a variety of contexts would also insure their subordination. In Luke's account of the Annunciation, the archangel Gabriel, a powerful spiritual being who had appeared to Daniel and aided him, hails and reveres a human being. Mary, as the Mother of God, becomes the Queen of the Angels. Just as Paul used contemporary attitudes toward angels to define and elevate the concept of Jesus Christ, so too did the title "Queen of the Angels" use an existing concept of the greatness of the angels to elevate the understanding of Mary in the hierarchy of the universe. From the eleventh century on, the increasingly popular conception of Jesus' humanity had led to greater awareness of Jesus' birth and thus of the importance of His mother. Mary had become so significant in the eyes of Christians that the Condemnations of 1277 invoked her name in the prologue.32 In another example, Jacobus provided a story that utilized an angel to explain and authorize a new feast. During the reign of William the Conqueror, an angel, appearing as a bishop to an abbot who has called upon Mary to save him, informs the abbot that he must celebrate the Feast of the Conception of Mary.33 As angels legitimated revolutionary ecclesiastical movements, they also legitimated new devotional practices. While Bonaventure did not follow the lead of the twelfthcentury English monks who sought to persuade medieval Europe of the Immaculate Conception, he did embrace the devotion to Mary common to his age. The Seraphic Doctor clearly subordinates the angels to Mary in a sermon delivered on the Feast of Saint Michael.34 As angels became subordinate to Mary, discussions of Mary provided a further



opportunity for Christians to reflect upon the angels. Thus, as seen in chapter 4, Bernard's discussion of angelic physics and metaphysics came in the context of his explanation of the Annunciation. Angels appear frequently as Mary's assistants in Caesarius's seventh book of the Dialogus (on Mary), and many of his most revealing statements about beliefs and expectations of angels are in these passages. An indicator of how influential the cult of Mary had become for angels is the relative importance of Michael and Gabriel in Dante's Comedy. Michael hardly appears, whereas Dante mentions Gabriel with much greater frequency, and indeed the descriptions of Gabriel in Purgatorio X, 34-45 and Paradiso XXXII, 94—6 are moving evocations of the angel's devotion to his queen. As Henry Adams reads the shift from Michael to Mary, the tilt represents a move away from the military ideal to the social ideal. The angel of the Annunciation has come to replace the warrior angel of the early Middle Ages. As an indicator of later shifts, during the English Reformation, one hotel's name was changed from the Salutation to the Angel. Protestants wished to shift the focus of the Annunciation away from Mary and back to Gabriel.35 Gabriel's famous salutation, Ave Maria, guaranteed an interest in angels, but what exactly did it signify? Gabriel's greeting invited reflection on the nature of sin and grace both for scholastic theologians and more popular writers. Jacobus presents a discussion of it in "The Feast of the Conception of Our Lady." The precise meaning of being "full of grace" becomes absolutely essential in a worldview dominated by the Augustinian understanding of sin and grace. Caesarius presented several stories on the great powers of the Ave Maria; merely uttering the phrase could save a person from a demon. Significantly, while the angel provided this greeting, it is the power of Mary that saves mortals. Because of this belief, the Ave Maria prayer came into regular usage in the twelfth century. From the fourteenth century on, the Ave Maria became part of daily life with the ringing of the Angelus bell. (This popular expression of piety derived ultimately from Bonaventure's recommendation of 1269 to the members of his order that they follow Francis's habit of offering the Ave Maria at the sound of the evening bell.) So important was this devotion to become in some localities that in the late fifteenth century, Queen Elizabeth of England was able to secure from Pope Sixtus IV an indulgence of three hundred days for each performance of a prescribed devotion at the ringing of the Angelus. Given such links between angelic and Marian devotion, it is hardly surprising that medieval prayers directed to the Queen of Heaven often included invocations to her angels. Mary, once she receives the prayers of those who call upon her, was believed to send the angels to assist her supplicants. Further, angels appear with Mary in various dreams and visions of Heaven. (Yet, as Salimbene's own experience attests, the Queen of the Angels could also appear by herself, without her train of devout spirits, thus suggesting a more intimate relationship.)36 Gabriel appears frequently in stained glass and paintings, and the Christian piety of the medieval period seems drawn to the Annunciation and to both its angelic and human participants. Yet just as Gabriel's eyes always look to Mary, drawing the viewer's attention not to his wings but to Mary's purity, so too does the angelic announcement point away from the angel and toward the human.



Responding to Angels: Dulia or Latria? Gabriel and his fellow angels clearly deserve respect from men and women. Yet what exactly should humans do to show their gratitude for those who bear their prayers and perform other services? Theologians affirmed the spiritual value and superiority of the angels in the hierarchy of creation, and they acknowledged humanity's debt to the ministering spirits of God. They needed, therefore, to establish exactly how to address the angels. This problem, the problem of what type of respect, veneration, or worship humans owe to the angels had been a problem in the church since the first century. The earliest warning against angel worship appears in the Epistle to the Colossians (2:18): "Let no one disqualify you, insisting on self-abasement and worship of angels." (Note the relationship between mortification of the flesh and the worship of angels, items which appear later in connection with the Cathars.) The Greek word for worship here is thraeskeia, which suggests cultic worship and does not seem to have developed the type of technical meaning dulia and latria did. The Vulgate offers an imprecise translation of the passage; the entire phrase is religione angelorum. Despite formal warnings against angel worship, the power and majesty of the angels often compelled some form of worship. Thus, for instance, John in the Apocalypse describes his own reaction to an angel's revelation: "And when I heard and saw them [certain marvelous things], I fell down to worship [adorarem] at the feet of the angel who showed them to me; but he said to me, 'You must not do that! I am a fellow-servant with you and your brethren the prophets and with those who keep the words of this book'" (22:8—9, see also figure 7). This text would become the fundamental text for the rejection of angel-worship. While the angel here denies angel worship and while Paul had denied it to the Colossians, Paul himself illustrates the power of the angels to evoke devotions when he states in i Corinthians ii:io that "a woman ought to have a veil on her head, because of the angels" (many churches today still adhere to this principle). Origen's response to Celsus's accusation that Christians worship angels testifies to the confusion surrounding this topic in the third-century church. Origen writes that if Celsus had "clearly defined the meaning of the word worship and the duties of worshippers . . . we might perhaps have brought forward such thoughts as have occurred to us on so important a subject." Origen himself is not very precise when he declares that Christians "praise and bless [the angels] . . . yet even to them [the Christians] will not give the honor which is due to God. . . . Indeed, [the angels] are much more pleased if we refrain from offering sacrifices to them than if we offer them."37 In the middle of the fourth century, the Council of Laodicea made one of the church's rare formal pronouncements about angels. It condemned the worship of angels, a practice that clearly had persisted into that century. This condemnation seems to have been in response to a particular Phrygian tradition (involving a variety of syncretic uses of "angels" and "spirits"), and thus the formal problem of defining how humans were to behave toward the angels remained. Bonaventure also recognized the problem, for he stated that "the angels are not called gods in Scriptures, lest they be venerated as gods."38 Ultimately the distinction between dulia (veneration) and latria (worship) enabled




theologians to distinguish between what a person owes to God and what humanity owes to the angels and the saints. Bonaventure, in his On How to Prepare for the Celebration of the Mass, distinguishes between the two: Worship of latria is due to God alone, and it consists in giving honor to the supreme Creator as a tribute of utter dependenonor and devrheTheth must be offered in the form of worship of dulia: it is not full worship, or adoration, but a deputizing and an invocation in order that they may be our advocates before God. All the reverence we offer them is due to the fact that they are united with God.39

What, then, were the proper forms of behavior for men and women with regard to angels? How could dulia be enacted? What kinds of things were Christians actually doing to venerate the angels? On one hand, dedications to Michael could take the same form as dedications to any of the saints. Cartularies of the monasteries at shrines to Michael record the gifts of many Christians who wish to show their gratitude for Michael's efforts on their behalf or who wish to invoke his aid. But beyond such practices surrounding the cult of Michael, few specific recommendations for focusing piety toward the angels have survived in the sources. Many, perhaps, did what the vain woman in one of Boccaccio's tales did—burned candles in honor of Gabriel when she saw his image in a church or chapel. Bonaventure, recognizing the importance of examples in the formation and development of religious habits, stressed that one of the most important things a Christian can do regarding angels is to receive instruction about them frequently. He thus chastised those churchmen who did not preach concerning the ministrations of the celestial hierarchies.40 Merely hearing about them and their work elevates the mind and prepares the soul for appreciating their assistance. "Magic" and the Intercession of Spirits Angels were appealing to many as sources of power, and as Valerie I. J. Flint has shown, the invocation of angels became particularly interwoven with the early medieval church's relationship to magic.41 Magicians and diviners of late antiquity claimed to derive their magic in part from various intermediary spirits or daemons. While the church came to conclude that many of these daemons were in fact the demons of the Bible, the church did not condemn all forms of supernatural aid. On the contrary, because angels also serve as intermediary spirits, the angels were useful for distinguishing between good and evil magic ("magic," here used loosely, includes amulets, charms, prayerlike invocations, and such). Flint observes that "demonic practices dictate the shape and purposes of the counterpractices angels might encourage humankind to share and to adopt." Augustine thus distinguished between the knowledge that demons might reveal to pagan diviners and the knowledge that the angels sometimes revealed to humans. Even though demonic epistemological powers could be considerable, the angels' knowledge was more certain because the ultimate source of an angelic revelation was God. Supernatural healing need not come from demons—as the book of Tobit clearly indicated, Raphael and his colleagues could assist with miraculous cures. Similarly, the



patronage angels such as Raphael could bestow on travelers allowed anxious Christians to seek the aid of angels not diviners. Of the nine orders of angels, the specific healing and protective powers of the archangels as revealed in biblical narratives were important, as were the functions assigned to the orders of virtues and powers. The virtues were responsible for performing all kinds of wonders, and the powers were specifically assigned to frustrating the assaults of the demons. Because angels were able to assume many of the supernatural roles of pagan wonderworkers, the anxieties of neo-Christians about spiritual assistance were finessed and the work of conversion was more readily accomplished. Thus in 493 Michael displaced the cult of the oracle Calchas at Monte Gargano, replacing animal sacrifices with the Mass. Flint argues that the church's promotion of angelic miraculous powers was not so much a matter of an unconscious paganism protruding into Christianity but a deliberate form of "Christian resistance to pagan competition" driven in large part by pastoral needs. The church could not simply condemn pagan practices that offered the powerful hopes of healing and protection—rather it had to offer a viable alternative. This espousal of angelic assistance was not without problems. Consistently, from late antiquity on, records indicate periodic condemnations of excessive or suspect angelic practices. Late in the fifth century, a council in Rome denounced the use of amulets engraved with angels' names as being demonic. As angels became confused with pagan spirits of various sorts, and as some continued to conjure by the names of angels, eighth- and ninth-century churchmen had to condemn the calling upon angels with names other than Raphael, Gabriel, and Michael. Still, the angels were simply too powerful to remain fully under canonical control. Authorities in the late Middle Ages condemned summoning angels into a child's thumbnail for divination, and a late-fifteenth-century text drawn up for a knight contains a list of invocations to unorthodox angelic names such as Oriell, Ragwell, Barachiell, Pantalion, Tubiell, and Rachyell, several of which seem to derive from Jewish pseudepigrapha.42 The desire for angelic aid and the wish to be able to name the angels directly seems to have been a powerful temptation throughout the medieval period, and in different contexts and from different sources, Christians sometimes sought to recover unorthodox traditions. The Mass: Sensing the Angelic Presence It appears, however, that one of the most important religious acts involving angels was not what people would do for angels or how people might invoke them but rather what Christians would do together with angels. As seen throughout this study, the office of the Mass brought angels and humans into an intimate fellowship, and the regular participation in the divine liturgy perpetually placed angels in the lives of Christians. Thus Bonaventure's or Bernard's references to the "Holy! Holy! Holy!" of the seraphim in nonliturgical contexts would have clearly evoked the liturgical subtext of the Sanctus to a medieval audience. Moreover, liturgical treatises themselves and medieval artworks are explicit in their presentations of how humans and angels participate together in crucial moments of the Mass—in prayers, hymns, and the sacrifice itself. Indeed, the human senses of



smell, hearing, and taste were all stimulated in the liturgy such that the presence of the angels was quite tangible. Because of the use of incense, the Mass had a distinct aroma. Many of the angels who appear in the stained glass of Notre Dame in Paris are carrying thuribles. The liturgical thurible and its incense signify a number of religious functions and associations. Incense represents or suggests the divine odor of the saints, a sacrifice to God, protection from demons, consecrations, and prayers. People were censed by clerics; as the incense removed the stench of their physical body, it symbolized the purification of their souls by grace. Rupert of Deutz explains the use of the thurible and incense in the context of the Kyrie eleison, the prayer for God's mercy. Quoting the description of the angel with a thurible who mingles incense with prayers in Apocalypse 8:3-4, he states that the singing of the Kyrie signifies "all the universal entreaties of the Church which are truly incensed" and are taken before the "throne of God."43 Singing in praise was another important experience shared by angels and humans. Rupert, citing the appearance of the angels to the shepherds in Luke 2:8-14, states that "the Church seized" the Gloria in Excelsis "from the mouth of angels" such that now it is a "hymn of angels and men." Likewise the Alleluia "signifies the eternal banquet of angels and beatified souls—that is always to praise the Lord, to always be seeing the face of God, and to sing of new wonders without end." Because some of the Fathers suspected that pagan music's seemingly demonic power to arouse the passions and to disorder the soul made the use of song suspect in liturgies, it was crucial that the Bible provide clear evidence of holy singing so that the church might have a model for proper hymnody. In his discussion of the Sursum corda, the Preface, and the Sanctus, Sicard of Cremona offers an extended discussion of music and singing, and he makes it quite clear that the sounds of human voices should be as the sounds of the angels. In the Sursum, "we lift ourselves up to angelic harmonies," and the Preface is "sung in a high and delectable voice, since the declamations of angels are represented." Sicard's reference to the angels' declamations is a reference to the formula in Prefaces that underscores the propriety of the human praise of God by describing the ways in which various orders of angels are said to worship. God is "praised by angels and archangels, adored by the dominions, feared by the powers," and the "thrones of the heavens and the virtues in society with the seraphim concelebrate" His majesty. As different Prefaces contain variations on this formula, and as Sicard wishes to complete the nine orders, he states that the principalities are to be understood with the powers and the cherubim with the seraphim. For Sicard, then, singing alongside the angels is a serious responsibility. The gravity of singing alongside the angels was underscored by the omission of the Gloria in Excelsis during Lent. As this joyous hymn was removed from the liturgy during this prelude to the Passion and death of Christ, the concelebratory union of heaven and earth the hymn signified was ruptured—the antiphonal singing of the Gloria symbolized the commingling of earth and paradise—and the liturgy grew more somber. Triumphantly, the Gloria reappears at the Mass for the Easter vigil, and the joy of the resurrection reunites humanity with the angels.44 More powerfully even than the Preface, the Sanctus expresses that "we give



thanks to Christ for the service of our redemption, the man who triumphed through the Cross and makes us to triumph." While the Sanctus had begun as a simple utterance of praise, by the twelfth century, it had become a major event in the Mass, bringing forth elaborate exegesis and becoming the focal point of musical expression. Hence, in his discussion of this part of the Mass, Sicard emphasizes the importance of the organ and music in the praise of God. In a lyrical explication of the joy of the redemption as expressed in the singing of the Sanctus, he weaves together Isaiah's vision of the seraphim; David's and Solomon's institution of hymns; "the shouting together of the people" in worship; the flight of the apostles and the women who remained at the Cross; and the Lord's Prayer. That such a basic, brief expression as Isaiah 6:3 had become so important is not surprising. The seraphim and their cry expressed the unmediated experience of the divine and the proper creaturely response. Through the Sanctus, Christians shared the life of eternity, and their voices participated in the sacred.45 In addition to the aromas and sounds that linked humans and angels, the sacrifice of the Mass itself and the tasting of the bread also brought the celestial and terrestrial souls together. In the Supplices, the priest asks that an angel bear the sacrifice from the altar on earth to the altar in heaven. As the angel accomplishes this, the sacrifice is finally completed. Angels serve as the intermediary necessary to make the work of the Mass effective, for if the sacrifice is not received by God in heaven, it remains unfulfilled. (As might be expected, it was also possible for some medieval clerics to see Christ as the angel of the Supplices.) Thus, the consecrated Host was the "bread of angels" (Ps. 78:25) and could be seen as a shared communion. Salimbene cites Gregory the Great and explains how this psalm prefigures the Mass. For both men, angelic choirs descend from on high and participate in the divine office.46 The Mass, therefore, was a stimulation of the senses— the aromas of incense, the sounds of music, the taste of the Eucharist—and all of these were experienced in churches resplendent with the sights of angels in glass, stone, and wood. As the example of Salimbene and Gregory indicates, the medieval church inherited many of these traditions of the angels and the Mass from the patristic era and its reading of Scripture.47 Isaiah, the Psalms, the Apocalypse—each of these texts provided examples of angelic mediation and celebrations that formed the basis of these liturgical beliefs in the Middle Ages. The utilization of Old Testament texts suggests that some of these practices may have antedated the early church; the Sanctus, for example, may have evolved ultimately from the synagogue and its use of Isaiah 6. While patristic writings on the liturgy and biblical exegesis formed the basis of the medieval texts for the Mass, certain aspects of the Mass and their meaning did evolve in the Middle Ages. Since the ninth century, as Europe became formally Christian through widespread conversions, the Mass had become the most important of the sacraments. Attendance at the Mass was now the sign of being a genuine Christian. Consequently, the ninth century had witnessed a new series of debates on the nature of the elements. The practice of elevating the host began in the twelfth century, and the next century witnessed two important theological developments—the definition of transubstantiation at the Fourth Lateran Council (and its subsequent elaboration by the schoolmen who employed Aristotelian conceptions of



substance and accidents) and the establishment by Urban IV in 1264 of the Feast of Corpus Christi (the Thursday after Trinity Sunday). While the former development was significant theologically, the latter reveals the importance of the Eucharist for devotions and piety. Given these later developments, it is interesting to note the early medieval confusion over the role of angels in the Eucharist. In various texts of the Mass from the sixth through eleventh centuries, angels are seen to consecrate the Host (a task which only God should be able to perform). In this same era, the angels and the Holy Spirit were also confused. Their roles had yet to be as clearly defined as they were by the twelfth century, when priestly power comes to be seen as excelling the power of the angels because angels cannot consecrate the Host.48 IV Lateran declared that all Christians were to communicate at least once per year. While Christians were to attend Mass regularly, many seem to have felt that the ceremony was so powerful and holy that they were unworthy of participating directly. Book 9 of Caesarius's Dialogus contains many stories of the powers and miracles of the transubstantiated host, and in the thirteenth century, a number of confraternities dedicated to the consecrated elements arose. Further texts in vernacular languages began to appear to explain to laypeople what to do at Mass and why they should do it. Because of Fourth Lateran's decree and because of its importance in the sacramental life of medieval Christians, the Mass was a crucial element in the religious and social lives of the period. As the divine office became more elaborate in the thirteenth century, the clerical vestments also became more ornate and more significant. Since the central act of the Mass took place with the priest's back to the congregation, the cope itself assumed greater relevance. As might be expected, angels are present in liturgical vestments and equipment such as on a cope from about 1300 that contains angels in various scenes from the life of Christ. Similarly, a thirteenth-century pyx used to carry the host contains the images of seven angels on its lid. (The seven angels are perhaps taken from the seven angels referred to in Tobit 12:15 who present the "prayers of the saints" to God.)49 The familiar question reappears: What was the significance of this marginal but distinct angelic presence? Bonaventure does not elaborate on the relationship between the ministering spirits and the priest at the Mass. Just as with his discussion of the other sacraments, the Breviloquium does not link the angels to those things that constitute the "more important points." On the other hand, in the On How to Prepare for the Celebration of the Mass, Bonaventure's list of the benefits of the Eucharist includes "association with the angels" alongside the "reduction of pain," "arming against the devil," "enlightenment of the mind," and several others. Elsewhere he enjoins a fellow Franciscan to emulate the inner peace of the angels before celebrating the Mass. He also offers his admonition not to eat before performing the sacrament as an example of the "discerning selection" that establishes the proper hierarchy of choices in the well-ordered soul which, he says, "pertains to the Archangels."50 Similarly, other texts suggest close identifications of angels and the Mass. Peter the Chanter enjoins clerics to be quite grave at the altar because the angels who are there will report an insufficiently reverent priest to God. The twelfth-century Instructio Sacerdotis likewise advises that as the angel who guarded Christ's body in



the Sepulchre was pious and innocent, so should a priest approach the altar in that fashion.51 Hence, for medieval clerics, the Eucharist clearly brings humanity and angels closer, and the contemplation of the spirits perfected by grace does provide a model for sacramental participation. A curiosity from the Imitation of Christ confirms this view. Angels appear hardly at all in this popular devotional work of the fifteenth century until the author, Thomas a Kempis, turns to the topic of the Eucharist. Then, the angels begin to appear with greater frequency, not necessarily but parenthetically as in Bonaventure. Caesarius and Jacobus offer glimpses into possible or likely popular conceptions of the relationship between angels and the Mass and regular liturgical practices. In book 9 of the Dialogus, an angel carries the transubstantiated Host up to heaven as it rolls off of the altar out of the hands of an unworthy, sinful priest. At an event of such solemnity, angels chastise the unworthy and protect the faithful. In several stories, Caesarius echoes liturgical treatises and portrays choirs of angels singing. Similarly, handbooks for the laity on the Mass also presented to laypeople the cooperation of human and angelic voices. Even if lay participation in the Sanctus was gradually eliminated in the Middle Ages, medieval drama preserved the Sanctus in plays, so that the lay performers themselves would have joined the chorus of angels in their singing. There was a widespread sense—reinforced by the angels depicted in altarpieces and on wooden roofs—that angels join humans in the offering of liturgical hymns. Because of this intimacy with angels that even laypeople sometimes felt, it is not surprising that angels were seen to authorize lay devotions. The very popular late medieval Mass of the Five Wounds was attributed to an appearance of Raphael to a pope on his death bed.52 As special services were descended from angelic apparitions, so were some liturgies dedicated to angels. From Alcuin's weekly cycle of Votive Masses begun in the ninth century and carried through the entire Middle Ages, special days of the week, if they were not dedicated already to a particular feast, would be prescribed for specific devotions. The Trinity, Holy Spirit, Eternal Wisdom, Mary, the Cross, Charity, specific saints, the angels—each of these could have a specific date devoted to it. While cycles varied in their specific foci, for angels the suffragia, the support for human souls, particularly the dead, was most important. John Beleth writes that the Mass of the angels "is sung so that we can bring the aid of the angels to the dead, since, as certain people say, on the first day of the week [Sunday] those who are in Purgatory [in purgatorio] have a cool rest [refrigerium], but immediately on the second day they are returned to their punishments." Other cycles moved the day of the angels from Monday to Tuesday, Wednesday, or Thursday (Friday and Saturday generally being reserved for the Cross and for Mary). Such performances allowed the celebrants to aid the deceased, to relieve their suffering and provide them comfort. These practices intimately joined angels, the dead, and the living in a weekly cooperative effort of mercy.53 The angels who bear candles and thuribles in the great roses of Notre Dame serve as a reminder to the age's "feeling" for angelic presences. In the stained glass, the church rendered the invisible world visible; the glass provided a vehicle for seeing with eyes what could be seen only with faith—the presence of the holy angels. The Mass, the transformation of simple elements into the Body and Blood,



linked the sacred world with the temporal world. The Mass also united humanity in the harmonious presence of the angels. Augustine's image of the City of God, filled with devout souls praising God, was like the image of the harmonious participation in the Eucharist. The angelic presence in the liturgy reinforced this feeling of solidarity. The cosmos thus remains hierarchical, but it also remains unified. Bonaventure's emphasis on the internal concord of the angels is also a call for social and religious harmony among human beings.54 The Feast of Saint Michael and Annual Religious Practices Perhaps the most important event for establishing the role of angels in the popular piety and religious practices of all of Europe was the institution of September 29 as the Feast of Saint Michael and All Angels. While the illumination of a page presenting almost any event in the life of Christ or Mary could be an occasion to add an angel in the margin, the annual feast focused attention on the archangel, providing an occasion for a variety of religious responses: listening to a sermon, undertaking a pilgrimage, or hearing a recitation of Michael's miracles, lists of which would have been available at his shrines. For those less religiously inclined, mandatory feasts further provided a day free from labor services. Michael's feast, Michaelmas, also marked the end of the agricultural cycle and the time for the reckoning of accounts.55 Various dates had been assigned to feasts for the archangel. The Leonine Sacramentary (an early-seventh-century text that draws on material from the previous two centuries) refers to Michael in the majority of Masses for September 30. Jacobus records that Michael's appearance to the bishop of Avranches in the early eighth century, which led to the establishment of Mont-Saint-Michel, was celebrated locally on October 16. He also records three separate incidents at Monte Gargano that governed the dating of feasts which were to become widespread in the church. The first apparition occurred in early 493 when Michael declared to the bishop of Siponto that a cave on Monte Gargano was under his protection. Subsequently, on May 8 of that year, when the people of Siponto were set upon by pagan Neapolitans, Michael came to the aid of the Christians in their battle, providing an earthquake, lighting, and an ominous cloud. (The surviving pagans became Christian.) On September 29, after the Christians became fearful of consecrating or entering the cave on Monte Gargano, Michael again appeared, this time to reveal that he had dedicated the shrine and bequeathed to it a red cloth, a footprint, and a healing spring. Upon hearing of these events, the pope declared that this day should be established as the feast of Saint Michael and his colleagues. Thus, 8 May became the feast day for commemorating the victory over the barbarians, while 29 September came to be called the feast of the dedication or more popularly as the general feast of Michael and all angels. While the initial spread of the feast days through portions of southern Italy was because these areas were under the sway of the abbey of Farfa and the dukes of Spoleto (who had given the shrine to the abbey), by the twelfth century liturgical treatises and sacramentaries were spreading these dates throughout the entire church.56 As noted earlier, traditional views of the importance of Michael in the Middle



Ages argue that by the thirteenth century, Michael had yielded his former preeminence to Mary. Whereas the period 950-1050 had been the age of the archangel, a period when many altars, churches, abbeys, and cathedrals were dedicated to him, the thirteenth century was the age of the Virgin, the age of the Notre Dames. But while Mary did become the most important of the saints, Michael and his cult continued to be significant throughout the entire Middle Ages. In London, for example, churches were dedicated in his name in the twelfth and thirteenth centuries as well as in earlier and later periods. Salimbene suggests that the shrine to Michael at Monte Gargano was considered one of the four most important religious places in Christianity. He records that when the false apostle Gerard Segarello wished to establish his followers and his mission throughout Christendom he sent his followers to the shrine of Saint James, the shrine of Saint Michael, the papal court, and the Crusader states. Further, when Philip II of France conquered Normandy at the beginning of the thirteenth century, he brought the shrine (and fortress) of MontSaint-Michel into the lands of the French crown. He himself dedicated a considerable sum of money to the abbey (largely to repair the damage done to it by his Breton allies). Because of continued royal patronage, papal gifts, ongoing dedication to the archangel, and capable administration by some of its abbots, the thirteenth century witnessed a period of great prosperity for Mont-Saint-Michel. Perhaps the most important abbot in this period was Richard Turstin (1235-64). On his seal he identified his office and his mission with Michael himself by placing an image of himself on one side and an image of the archangel on the other.57 The archangel thus continued to be significant throughout the Middle Ages. Groups of peasant children in France sporadically undertook mass pilgrimages to Mont-Saint-Michel seeking relief from poverty, labor, and boredom from 1333, when Saint Elmo's fire was sighted on the church spire, until 1442, when they became subject to excommunication. The archangel himself appeared to Joan of Arc in her earliest visions in her village of Domremy in 1425, and Louis XI founded the Order of Saint Michael in 1469. Both Michael and Mary are imprinted on the fourteenth-century seal of the Nation of Picardy at the University of Paris.58 Similarly, as part of the "deathbed regimen of the late medieval Church," the two are frequently paired in paintings or sculptures; Michael holds the scales of judgement while Mary intercedes for the recently deceased soul. For both members of a university and the dying, the Virgin clearly has a more powerful position, but the archangel still has a place of great importance (particularly as the sword in the depictions of Michael holding scales echoes his triumph over Satan). Michael also accompanied the Spanish as they explored and conquered new lands. He appeared to a native Mexican boy in the early seventeenth century eighty miles east of Mexico City at what is now San Miguel del Milagro. Further west in the Philippines, during the sixteenth century the Spaniards named one of their early settlements San Miguel because they arrived at the place on May 8. Hymns, Sermons, Pilgrimages, and Relics The observation of this feast in the High Middle Ages insured the veneration of angels at least once a year. In particular, the occasion produced hymns from the



pen of Abelard, pilgrimages by the feet of the faithful, and fasts by Saint Francis and many others. This annual event provided the formal occasion for many manifestations of piety not only toward Michael but also to all the celestial spirits. Thus, the annual celebration of Michael and his work provided the occasion for clerics to develop and transmit in their sermons a variety of ideas and beliefs about the angels. These sermons and their accompanying devotional texts serve as the basic sources for understanding medieval devotional angelology, and consequently such sermons by Hugh of Saint Victor, Bonaventure, or others have been used throughout this entire study. (It should be noted, however, that sermons delivered on 29 September could also be dedicated to other topics, particularly to the Lord of the angels.) As discussed in chapter 4, prior to the thirteenth century, scholastic theologians had often considered the importance of Michael and devotional questions pertaining to the angels in their theological textbooks. Thus, Alexander Nequam examined Michael and his duties in his Speculum. But because of the formalization of theological studies and because of the acceptance of Lombard's Sentences as the textbook for theological education, Michael, whom the Master did not discuss at any length, was no longer part of the theologian's academic agenda. To appreciate the later scholastics' dedication to the archangel thus requires an examination of their sermons delivered on the feast day. (It is perhaps because of this bifurcation in angelology that modern studies of medieval angelology have not combined the devotional events and beliefs that surrounded the cult of Michael with the scholastic debates about angelic metaphysics.)59 Abelard's hymns for Michael's feast, composed as part of a series of hymns for the nuns of the abbey of the Paraclete, suggest a number of important themes in beliefs about Michael and the angels.60 Abelard presents the angels as fellow partakers of the Eucharist, and he states that Scripture has indeed revealed that there are nine orders of angels. (He does not list them in the brief hymns, however.) Michael, of course, merits special attention as the leader of the armies of heaven and as the vanquisher of Satan. Because Satan still attacks mortals, Michael's help is still to be sought. Abelard's hymns celebrate the powers and assistance of this great spirit and his colleagues, as did hymns written for the annual liturgical cycle. Those congregations that employed Adam of Saint Victor's Sequentiae would have thanked Michael for his escorting of souls to heaven and sung that "sincere devotion reconciles us to God and associates us with the angels." Likewise, the annual feast provided Bonaventure with the opportunity to explore angels and hymns. In a sermon delivered on the Feast of Saint Michael, Bonaventure explores the meaning of Psalm 137:1 (Vulgate "In the sight of the angels, I sing to you"). Following the Glossa, he states that humans are to sing praises to God with the angels, underscoring the participation of humans and angels in the regular liturgical singing of the Sanctus.61 Jacobus's Legenda Aurea, arranged according to the calendar, quite logically contains a chapter on Michael. As with Abelard's hymns and scholastic sermons, Jacobus also uses the feast of Michael as an occasion to remind his audience of the many deeds of the archangel—his vanquishing of Satan, his appearances at his shrines, his weighing of the sins and merits of the deceased, and other issues. Jacobus also seizes the opportunity to present important information



about the angelic orders and their duties as well. Texts such as Abelard's and Jacobus's suggest that the annual feast focused Christendom's attention on Michael and that the portraits of Michael in stained glass, stone, and ceramic would have received extra attention. Further, the most likely time for a believer to undertake a pilgrimage to one of the major shrines to Michael would have been at the time of the Feast of Saint Michael. So popular was Mont-Saint-Michel that pilgrimages to the shrine facilitated the development of roads to and from the shrine. Thirteenth-century pilgrimages are well-recorded. Saint Louis made two journeys there (1256 and 1264); Philip IV likewise undertook the trip and bestowed gifts upon the monastery. And Bonaventure records that the bishop of Assisi was on a pilgrimage to Monte Gargano at the time of Francis's death (October 3, 1226). September 29 was also an appropriate day to visit one of the several holy wells of Saint Michael in Ireland. A pilgrimage to Monte Gargano or any pilgrimage site could, of course, occur any time, especially in restitution for a heinous sin. Thus Saint Romuald encouraged Otto III to undertake such a journey barefoot because he had murdered a Roman senator. Dante's image in the antepenultimate canto of the Paradiso of the refreshed and hopeful pilgrim who reaches his destination is an image of the more devout pilgrim, whereas the pilgrims of the Roman du Mont-Saint-Michel seem to be rather less piously inclined. Indeed, in this text, composed in the third quarter of the twelfth century, the pilgrimage was "more of a holiday than a holy day, though there was every reason for it to be both." Mont-Saint-Michel, as Raoul Glaber in the eleventh century noted, seems to have attracted pilgrims not only because of their interest in Michael but also because the scenery was, and still is, quite beautiful.62 Undertaking a pilgrimage could be a large task, a trivial expedition, or something in between (and the motives for such a journey could run along a similarly wide spectrum). It would seem appropriate, therefore, that pilgrims pray for God to send them an angel who might defend them and lead them before His throne (such an eleventh-century prayer echoes the role of Raphael in the Book of Tobit). Despite possible risks or hardships—the southern villages were particularly fond of attacking pilgrims to Mont-Saint-Michel—the opportunity to be in the actual place where the archangel had descended attracted many. Such pilgrims would have shared, to a lesser extent, Francis's sense of the sanctity of the special places the angels frequent. Those who completed their pilgrimages to MontSaint-Michel were able to obtain one of the shrine's official badges. The two most popular images on these badges were of Michael overcoming Satan and Michael weighing souls (some had both). The popularity of these shrines to the "messenger of highest thundering" (as an eleventh-century prayer addresses him) testifies to the importance of Michael in the religious lives of medieval Christians.63 While Mont-Saint-Michel was one of the "local pilgrimages" of medieval Europe, it was also on the route of many pilgrims to the great shrine of Saint James of Compostella.64 As part of the geography and iconography of medieval Europe, angels, Michael in particular, constituted one of the central elements of pilgrimages to many shrines. In basilicas on the way to northwestern Spain there were chapels or altars in Michael's name. And in the tympana of many abbeys at other stops



along the way, pilgrims would be able to gaze upon Michael weighing souls, or angels distinguishing between the saints and the reprobate. Moreover, for pilgrims traveling through Italy to the Holy Land, Monte Gargano was a natural shrine to visit as it lay on a Roman road from Benevento in the West to the port towns in the East. Thus, the twelfth-century abbot from Iceland Nikulas Bergsson writes in his record of his travel to Jerusalem that he visited "Michialsfiall [Michael's Mountain, Monte Gargano] . . . and Michael's cave and the silken cloth that he gave to the place."65 As this example illustrates, although the archangel did not leave his physical body behind as a relic (contrary to the expectations of some overly pious souls in the fifteenth century), he did bequeath specific gifts to his shrines that served as relics. In addition to the cloth mentioned by Abbot Nikulas (which is also mentioned by Jacobus), Michael left his footprint in marble and an iron spur at Monte Gargano. Because any object connected with a shrine could be considered touched by the power of a sacred place, it is not altogether surprising that some eleventh-century pilgrims gathered rocks at the seashore at Mont-Saint-Michel and used them in consecrating churches. In addition to Michael's own relics, angels could become interwoven with the physical remains of the saints in other ways. A reliquary formed in the shape of the Ark of the Covenant, for example, would have the cherubim displayed on its top and would have provided an occasion to meditate on these spirits' significance. In part as a result of the looting of Byzantine relics and their extravagant presentation to the faithful in the West, from the thirteenth century on, as Hans Belting has shown, reliquaries began to incorporate angels in a "presentation gesture" in order to "persuade the viewer." Angels, often in pairs or groups, are depicted holding or offering the relic to the faithful in their outstretched hands, forming a "perpetual act of exhibition." This act bestows a dynamism on the relic itself, helping to generate a relationship between the remains of the saint and the beholder. The Christian is confronted with the sacred and challenged to respond accordingly. The angels serve as ideal mediating figures here, for the saint is already with them in heaven even as part of his or her body remains on earth.66 While a pilgrimage completed on a specific feast day would have been a typical time for witnessing the presentation of a saint's or the archangel's relics, the feast day itself involved other forms of religious observation in addition to pilgrimages. As the Legenda Maior indicates, the annual Feast of Saint Michael and the Lenten period before the feast aroused Francis's devotions. "He [Francis] was jointed by a chain of inseparable love to the angels. . . . Because of his devotion to the angels he used to fast and pray for the forty days after the Assumption of the glorious Virgin. Because of the fervent zeal he had for the salvation of all, he was devoted with a special love to blessed Michael the archangel who has the office of presenting souls to God." For roughly one-ninth of the year, Francis fasted for the archangel Michael, and at the beginning of one of these forty-day periods after the Assumption of the Virgin (August i5-September 29), Francis received the stigmata. The significance of Michael's office of presenting souls to God compelled the saint of Assisi to venerate the saint of high places. (This role of Michael as presenter of souls to God was perhaps the most widely portrayed of angelic roles



after his role as the combatant of Satan; one can find many depictions of it in the art and architecture of the period.) Similarly, another Franciscan received a visit from the archangel as he was observing the fast. Michael conversed with Brother Peter (who was a few years younger than Bonaventure) and granted his request for the remission of his sins.67 Francis was certainly exceptional in his devotional practices, and it remains hazardous to extrapolate from his practices. Nevertheless, the annual feast did provide the opportunity for demonstrating piety toward the angels, and Bonaventure was able to promote Francis as a model of angelic piety for those who follow the calendar of the church. Drama: The Enacting of Angelology The annual life of the church created further opportunities for encounters between angels and the individual in the form of the yearly medieval religious dramas. Unfortunately, as C. and R. Brooke note, the history of drama remains incomplete and confusing.68 Nevertheless, medieval drama offers another important source for understanding the significance of angels in the minds of the laity of the Middle Ages. Miracle and mystery plays literally brought angels to the stage and to the accompanying pageants and processions. Angelic appearances on stage would hardly have been surprising. The Quern Quaeritis performance, which had been a crucial part of extraliturgical religious expression from the eight century on and which ultimately became part of nativity and resurrection plays, was a reenactment of the visit of the Marys to the tomb of Jesus, and the angel who greets the women has the crucial role of revealing the mystery of the resurrection. As the cycles of plays performed in the later Middle Ages drew from the length of Scripture (as discussed in chapters 1 and 2 of this study), so too did the angels from the important narratives of the Bible appear in these performances. Of the nearly complete Wakefield Mystery Cycle (mid fifteenth century), angels appear in the Creation, Abraham (Abraham and Isaac), the Annunciation, the Shepherd's and Magi's Plays, the Flight into Egypt, the Purification of Mary, John the Baptist, the Resurrection, the Ascension of the Lord, and the Judgment. Given the biblical accounts, anyone familiar with the stories through reading, sermons, catechisms, or art would have expected angels to be present. Indeed, modern churches that have Christmas pageants likewise have members dress as angels for the re-creation of the story. One of the fundamental problems of angels in medieval drama is how the guildsmen who performed the plays portrayed the angels. In the performances of the Quern Quaeritis by clergy, deacons would have played the role of the angel because of the traditional allegorical linking of the biblical narrative to the sacrifice of the Mass; as the angel ministered to Christ during His sacrifice, so do the deacons serve the priest during the church's sacrifice. In most other contexts, boys would have played the parts of the angels, apart from the named archangels, and they would have sung in the angelic choirs (one text refers to duo pueri and another to a puer).69 Playing such roles alongside their elders would have been an early introduction to participating in their community's religious and social institutions. It may be imagined that the opportunity to put on costumes with wings,



often adorned with gold and sometimes even made of peacock feathers, could well have been an enjoyable experience for the boys. The relative importance of angels in these dramas arises as a question here, as it does for medieval beliefs about angels in general. Were the angels playing leading roles in the dramas or were they merely ornamental? Did the guildsmen who performed the plays display an interest in the various angelic orders or a veneration for any angels or angelic roles in particular? Paul Heinze has collated relevant data concerning angels in medieval drama from over one hundred medieval French plays, but unfortunately, he provides far less analysis than would be helpful. The entire question of angels in medieval drama remains wide open despite this useful reference work. Because of the vastness of this field, this study must limit itself to observing some of the most significant aspects of angels in medieval drama. As the angels frequently appeared in saints' lives in the Legenda Aurea, so too do angels punctuate the deeds and lives of many dramatic presentations of the stories of the saints. Michael, followed by Gabriel, Raphael, and then Uriel, appears in quite a number of the plays. While a cherub and a seraph appear in a few of the plays, the entire hierarchy of angels appear in only two of the nearly one hundred plays surveyed. This absence of representation of some of the orders (such as the dominions and thrones) is not especially problematic, since the most important narrative appearances of angels in Scripture are of archangels and angels. Angels in these plays fill their traditional roles as derived from Scripture and hagiography. They attend and praise God singing the Te Deum or the Sanctus, their Latin harmonies (even in vernacular plays) contrasting decisively with the cacophanies of demonic choruses which were sometimes presented; they deliver messages to the saints; they comfort and assist them with miracles; they lead the saints in the paths of holiness and righteousness; they fight demons for the possession of souls; Michael leads souls into Paradise; the angels "teleport" people back and forth. (In at least one case, the angel seems to portray the teleportation by seizing the victim by the hair and leading him across the stage.)70 In plays such as the twelfth-century Anglo-Norman Le Mystere d'Adam, the cherub brandishing a flaming sword— a simple but dramatic special effect—would have stood as a pyrotechnical icon of humanity's subservience to toil, decay, and death. On the other hand, the angels of the resurrection plays would have celebrated the triumph of God over death. This brief survey of angels and medieval drama suggests that in their traditional patterns and roles, angels were widely assimilated into the experience of the medieval stage. As the communities portrayed the angels, they physically re-created and witnessed the spirits of heaven; they made these ethereal beings part of their experience of the annual, communal cycle of their own lives. The world of the Bible and the world of medieval European Christians were brought together, and angels were incarnated in the actors on stage. Humans and angels became inseparable as the plays "directly connected the lowest with the highest."71 Confession and the Roles of Angels in Penance Another important annual religious practice was the sacrament of confession. Since Innocent III and IV Lateran declared that all Christians should make con-



fession once a year, it seems appropriate to address the sacrament of confession in this section on annual religious observances. C. and R. Brooke identify interest in confession as a sign of the importance of a Christian's inner personal spirituality, indeed as a sign that medieval Christians were taking their religion seriously.72 Hence the question of angels and confession centers on the relationship between angels and peoples' looking inward at their own sins. For Bonaventure and his fellow Franciscans, the sacrament of confession was particularly important, as one of Francis's original goals was to preach penance to the laity. At first glance, there might seem to be little connection between angels and confession. Whereas angels could share the glory of the Mass, what need would they have of confession? Angels are sinless, and the fallen angels are incapable of being redeemed. It is said of Bernard of Clairvaux that hearing confessions made him realize that his monks were not quite the angels he desired them to be. However, medieval clerics, along with the early church, did link angels with contrition and penance. Gregory the Great, who on this point as well as for many other angelological practices provides a crucial bridge between the two periods, relates the story of angels who return a dead soul to its body so that the person can do penance (demons were dragging the soul to hell). A typical form of penance, of course, could include a pilgrimage to Monte Gargano or Mont-Saint-Michel. The author of the Ancrene Riwle links the flaming sword of the cherubim of Genesis 3:24 to the pain and suffering that must be experienced by penitents seeking to enter Paradise. Geoffrey of Admont weaves together an exposition of the six wings of the seraphim with a discussion of confession. He states that because humans "fulfill illicit desires, . i . ne . ssait is necessary to articulate these and after the confession to offer satisfaction in works." The two wings that cover the feet of God signify auricular confession and the penance imposed. Drawing on the Book of Tobit, Bonaventure identifies Raphael's special assistance in confronting one's sins. Raphael leads men to compunction, reminds humans of the Passion of Christ, and aids in the transmission of prayers for forgiveness (which, Bonaventure stresses, can be efficacious because of Raphael and the angels). In a sermon on Luke 15:10 ("[T]here is joy before the angels of God over one sinner who repents"), and in contrast to the pain signified by the flaming sword of the cherubim, Bonaventure links angelic joy with the efficacy of the sacrament of confession.73 Such an identification echoes a familiar story from the popular life of Saint Giles. An angel deposits a scroll on the altar confirming the remission of Charlemagne's secret sin for the sake of Saint Giles' prayers (the semisacral status of the emperor allows him not to reveal the sin in confession, though in some versions of the story, the angel reveals it to the saint). Because of this incident, all the faithful can know that their sins will be forgiven if they pray to Giles. Jacobus also explicitly links angels and confession in his discussion of Michael. Drawing on Tobit 12, Isaiah 6, and Luke 15:10, he explores the ways in which the angels and the sacrament are connected. Just as Raphael taught Tobias to heal his father's blindness, so too does contrition open the eyes of the heart. Just as the seraph purged Isaiah's lips with a burning coal, so too does confession purge the Christian's lips. And Jesus' parable about the joy of the angels in heaven over the repenting of one sinner




closely ties the soteriological life of a human with the emotional life of the angels.74 Scripture provides medieval clerics with a connection between angels and confession. As angels in different parts of the Bible represent God's omniscience, mercy, and justice, it seems appropriate that angels are an element of a sacrament that embodies these three attributes of God. He knows all humans' sins; He offers the grace of healing and reparation; and He also expects satisfaction and contrition for sins. One of the Franciscan stories in the Actus combines all of these divine aspects. An angel, sent by God, leads a brother who had been doing penance for many years through a series of purgative adventures and raptures. As the friar obeys the angel's commands, he has his bones broken, his skin lacerated, and his flesh burned, but his soul is healed of its infirmities just as in penance.75 The angel, the messenger of God, is His agent for the successful completion of the sacrament. Quite appropriately, therefore, Dante depicts angels as crucial figures in the transitions between the cornices of the Purgatorio.

Women and Angels: Different from Men's Experiences? In one way or another, exegetes, preachers, and guildsmen identified angels with almost every aspect of regular religious life and practices. But were there significant differences between men and women concerning their relationships to angels? While the incorporeal angels were sexless and could appear in a vision as a youth or in artwork as androgynes, they are often described or portrayed as male. Both Elisabeth of Schonau and Gertrude the Great speak of the "fatherly" care of their angels. And as a warrior, Michael's masculinity and his appeal to men is clear. Angels and angelic motifs certainly became part of the way in which men sought to direct women's piety. The author of the Ancrene Riwle recommended the interaction between Mary and Gabriel as a model for women; like Mary, women, more specifically anchoresses, were to avoid talkativeness and remain humble. Moreover, as an angel appeared to the Virgin in isolation, so should anchoresses seclude themselves. "Seldom has an angel appeared to anyone in the midst of a crowd." And following the injunction of Paul, women are to keep their heads covered.76 But did women themselves express particular interest or disinterest in the angels or in particular aspects of angelic devotions? Without an extensive systematic review of the pertinent materials, a review both needed and unfortunately outside the scope of this study, only a few hypotheses can be offered. Women who shared in the regular devotional practices of the church would have experienced angels in many of the same ways that laymen did. Intercessory prayers and liturgical concelebration would have brought angels, men, and women together regularly (though the male clergy would have been closer to the angels, especially in the epiclesis). Similarly, the annual practices of devotion to Michael and pilgrimages would have been meaningful to both sexes even if Michael's own patronage was particularly important for warriors and even if men could have undertaken pilgrimages more readily. However, if it is the case, as Carolyn Walker Bynum has argued in her Jesus as Mother and Holy Food and Holy Fast, that women's spirituality expressed itself through a particular concern



with symbols of birth, lactation, food, suffering, and the flesh, then it would be expected that these concerns would be less likely to lead women toward angelic devotions. Similarly, the lesser interest in the devil and cosmic warfare on the part of women that Bynum observes would have diminished the significance of angels as spiritual protectors. Angels certainly appeared to women, and as shall be seen in the next chapter, these visions were important for providing a divine authorization for these women's exercise of leadership in a male-dominated society. But Christ and Mary were far more important in these visions and raptures than the angels were (Elisabeth of Schonau may be the exception proving the rule). Indeed, although she states that she does believe what the clergy tell her of the angels, Julian of Norwich also declares that she received no "shewings" of these spirits during her intense mystical encounters. Further considerations of this question of the angels as experienced and discussed by women will be needed to test these observations, but it seems fair to conclude that there are both aspects of angelic devotions shared by men and women as well as different concerns that might well have led to a greater interest in angels among men.

N • I • N •E

Exceptional Practices of Adults, Death, and Resurrection

Certain aspects of medieval religious experiences involving angels seem to have been reserved for men and women of special holiness or of a particular vocation. Anyone could pray, undertake a pilgrimage, fast, or invoke the angels against the demons, but angels could also provide special experiences (visions and mystical raptures) or appeal to certain segments of society (warriors, for example). Such engagements with the angels were generally far more intense and central to the Christians who experienced them than the regular angelic devotions discussed in the previous chapter. Hence this final chapter considers these exceptional practices as well as the Christian's ultimate, most significant encounter with angels: death and the transportation of the soul to its destined place in the afterlife. Dreams and Visions: Revelations of Power, Authority, and Danger Records of dreams, visions, and visitations that involved angels survive from different periods throughout the entire Middle Ages and are one of the most fruitful sources for investigating angels in popular piety. Some records survive in separate treatises (e.g., Hildegard of Bingen's Scivias), while some are located in texts on miracles and the supernatural (Caesarius of Heisterbach's Dialogus Miraculorum's most extensive treatment of angels is in his book on visions). Other examples survive in chronicles, or more frequently, in saints' lives (of which the Legenda Aurea serves as the clearest example). Perhaps the most significant angelic visits from this last source were Francis's encounter with the seraph on Mount Alverna and Joan of Arc's encounters with Michael (and Saint Margaret and Saint Catherine), in part because both of these apparitions helped to authorize a major radical agenda. It was hardly surprising that Francis would have encountered angels in this world. The life of Francis reveals the perfect model for all who would seek to be genuinely holy; hence the Legenda Major reveals, in some sense, the "upper limit" of what someone could hope to achieve in devotional experiences of the angels. And, according to Bonaventure, other 189



holy people could approach the example set by Francis and thus speak with angels.1 Johan Huizinga speculated that the saints were seen as too corporeal in the Middle Ages for them to appear frequently in visions. By contrast, it may well have been the incorporeal aspect of the angels that allowed them to come to men and women in dreams or as apparitions. If the saints could offer their powerful relics in reliquaries, the angels could present themselves almost anywhere, even outside local clerical control. Certainly, the development of angelology to a large extent derived its strength from this belief that angels do appear or manifest themselves to mortals. All other discussions—metaphysical, moral, etc.—stemmed from the fact that God communicates through intermediaries. Bonaventure proclaimed forcefully, "Without a doubt, the beatified angels are sent to us by God." It is hardly surprising, therefore, that the view of Boethius of Dacia, an Aristotelian in Paris (ca. 1270), that dreams of angels could be accounted for by natural processes and bodily fluids was formally condemned.2 The encounters with angels during the Middle Ages had biblical precedents in Genesis, Daniel, the Apocalypse, and other books of the Bible. In the Legenda. Aured, Jacobus links the lives of the patriarchs who experienced angels (Abraham, Tobias, David) with the lives of contemporary saints who had also beheld the spirits of heaven (e.g., Aquinas). Caesarius, speaking of the appearance of the Holy Spirit, affirms that just as the Third Person appeared in the New Testament as a dove and in the form of a flame, so too has the Holy Spirit "been seen in our own times as a dove and as fire."3 There seems to have been an expectation that supernatural events would occur as they had in Scripture. But if an angel from heaven appeared how would one know that it was an angel? Indeed, would someone necessarily be aware of such a heavenly presence? The appearance of the angel to the unwitting Brother Elias in the Actws suggests that angels do not necessarily reveal their spiritual nature (especially to those whom they are testing). Similarly, a story preserved by Caesarius suggests that in some cases, those who are blessed to see an angel are not always aware that it is an angel until after it has departed. As he relates the tale, a monk's guardian angel appears to his abbot in the guise of the monk. Only when the angel vanishes is it evident that it was an angel and not the monk himself. Hence Caesarius introduces the angel as such by saying "as it became clear afterwards."4 Such disguised angelic appearances derive ultimately from the book of Tobit in which Raphael appears to Tobias as a man until he decides to reveal himself. Jacobus preserves a similar story in his "Life of Saint Gregory the Pope." An angel appears as a shipwrecked sailor asking for alms. Only afterward does the angel reappear and tell Gregory that God had sent him. Angels can also appear as bishops (though the fact that the angel-bishop was walking on water suggested to Helsinus, the abbot of Rumsey, that this was no ordinary bishop). In addition to sailors and bishops, angels could also appear as maidens. To add even more confusion, an angel once imitated the Holy Spirit by appearing as a dove. Angels were detectable not only by the eyes but by other senses as well; one girl, whom an angel was rescuing from a hangman's noose, perceived "the wonderful sweet fragrance of his [the angel's] presence." In other cases, however, angels behaved in a



much more familiar manner; as apparently Michael was seen regularly flying from mountain to mountain.5 An incident related by Gregory of Tours suggests that in some cases, special circumstances enabled one to recognize an otherwise invisible spirit. A man who was possessed by a devil was the only one able to see Michael bear a girl's soul to heaven. Caesarius relates a story of a man who spoke improperly of his gift to see his guardian angel and hence saw him nevermore. Not only might a person need a special gift, such a person must also maintain a proper spiritual attitude toward this ability. These types of encounters between invisible angels and humans derive ultimately from Numbers 22:21-35, in which Balaam fails to see the angel who blocks his path. In other visions, it was not a special gift for the discerning of spirits but the gift of sanctity that was required for appreciating the presence of the angels. In writing an office for the monks of Montieramey to celebrate the Feast of Saint Victor (of whose relics they were in possession), Bernard of Clairvaux authorized Victor's piety with an affirmation of Victor's angelic vision. For Bernard, such angelic appearances certified holiness. By nature open to humans, angels hide because of human pride. Only a saint who rules himself or herself in humility can enjoy the deep pleasures of the angels. Holiness, especially in the case of relics, likewise certified authority and power, and an angelic appearance regularly served as a form of legitimation. Gregory the Great preserved the story of a man who was authorized to preach by an angel even though he was not in clerical orders and was not certified by the pope.6 Hence it appears that various interpretations were available for why some saw angels and others did not. As invisible spirits, spirits appearing as quotidian humans, or as supernatural beings, the angels who manifested themselves to the Christians in the Middle Ages provided a tangible link between the sacred and the profane. Indeed the regular traffic between angels and humans suggested that the profane was permeated by the sacred. It remains unclear whether more men than women, more youth than old-timers, saw or experienced angels. Caesarius, Jacobus, and indeed the church's own list of saints and martyrs record instances of all types and categories of people encountering angels. While certain types of people may have been more likely to claim an angelic encounter than others, further comparative research is needed to determine if there are significant demographic discrepancies in angelic visitations. What does seem clear is that visions of all kinds were relatively more important for women than for men. The divine source of their raptures or visitations provided women with power and authority otherwise inaccessible to them. Hildegard of Bingen, Elisabeth of Schonau, Gertrude the Great of Helfta, and many other women all became empowered or certified to exercise authority over others through their visionary experiences. Indeed, in many cases, they were commanded by angels, saints, or Christ to assume duties they felt unable or reluctant to perform. While they may not have assumed all the roles of a priest (indeed, Carolyn Walker Bynum shows that in the case of the women of Helfta, extraordinary experiences served to reenforce male clerical prerogatives), they came to serve as preachers, confessors, counselors, and comforters. Here as elsewhere, when angels do appear in these visions—an angel is most prominent in the life of Elisabeth—they serve as legitimating powers, licensing behavior that would otherwise be unacceptable.7



Men's and women's visions of angels—which seem to have occurred throughout the medieval period (and even into the twentieth century, according to some)—fall into three categories, which often overlap.8 The angels can come as visions of the afterlife, messengers and administers of tests, or comforters and miracle workers (angelic appearances at death and in war are special categories and are discussed later). After considering each of these major categories, it will be useful to examine another somewhat frequent type of spiritual encounter, the manifestation of a demon in the guise of an angel Finally, to conclude the category of visions and appearances, a discussion of the relative importance and use of the scholastic categories discussed in chapters 4 and 5 will examine the ways in scholastics may have affected popular ideas of angels (and vice versa). In narratives about visions of the afterlife, either the author or the transcriber would record the experiences of a soul that left its own body (or was transported out of it) and journeyed to Paradise, to Hell, or, as the concept evolved, to Purgatory. Such medieval visions of the afterlife, particularly those that included an angelic interpreter, stemmed from the numerous Jewish and Christian apocalypses and ascensions written from the third century B.C. to the second century A.D. Jacques LeGoff argues that such voyages constituted a "real" experience for the men and women of the Middle Ages, "even if they depicted them as 'dreams' (somnia)." Most of the spiritual voyagers he presents in his discussion of the development of the idea of Purgatory encounter angels, either as guides or as citizens of Paradise. Similarly, Caesarius records several visions of celestial existence or the afterlife in which angels play a prominent role. Angels serve a variety of functions in these visions. In some cases the angels are simply part of the scenery or they seem to decorate the more important figures in the vision (usually Mary or Christ). Whereas the angels of Dante's Paradiso XXVIII and XXIX are explained by Beatrice, the angels of the vision of the sexton of Saint Peter's recorded by Jacobus explain to him who the saints are.9 In all cases, they confirm the reality of the Christian's eschatological hopes and expectations. The second category of angels in dreams and visions recalls the etymology of "angel"; they bear God's messages to the faithful. Whereas Dante and Hildegard journeyed to the realm of the angels, Michael traveled to Domremy, the home of Joan of Arc. The messages transmitted could be revelations, reprobations, or any type of communication. The early accounts of the works of Saint Patrick in Ireland tell of the angel Victoricus who called the holy man to service. Patrick, however, sometimes went against the advice of his angelic friend for the improvement of Ireland and Christianity. This type of rapport, filled with tension and test, supports the hypothesis that, in records of Irish encounters with angels, the angels are a substitution for fairies of Irish folklore. (Elisabeth of Schonau's extensive interaction with her angel also reveals tensions, but this interaction was of a different order; her angel forces her to overcome her unwillingness to reveal her visions and at times assumes penitential powers over her.) Jacobus preserves the story of how an angel gave Gregory the Great a choice between enduring pains in this world and enduring the pains of Purgatory. Here the angel, apparently intended literally, serves tropologically for the spiritual choices facing Christians. In the Actus, the angel who comes to chastise Brother Elias also performs miracles for Brother Bernard.10




In the story mentioned earlier of a monk's guardian angel reproving his prior for failing to hear his confession, Caesarius relates that the disguised angel prostrated himself before the prior. The prior, recognizing the spirit as an angel only after the spirit disappears, recognizes his error and immediately hears the monk's confession. Caesarius then presents a discussion of this event between the novice and the monk. The novice is astonished that an angel would humble himself before a man. The monk replies confidently that the angel "truly prostrated himself before a man, as heaven before the earth, gold before the mire, that by such an act he might reproach him for his negligence."11 The lesson seems to be that angels can act in a variety of ways as the situation warrants. Novices should not expect any one pattern of behavior for the spirits who guard and protect them. Rather, they should carefully attend to their subtle ways and be prepared to meet them in many different guises. The story told by Caesarius of the lay-brother of Hemmenrode who lost his ability to see his angel, recalls the testing aspect of certain angelic visitations. In some sense, any vision of an angel, no matter how gracious, could serve as a test of one's proper humility, obedience, and reverence. In turn, however, in many of Jacobus's stories, the angels behaved with humility toward the saints who had overcome the great trials and temptations of the flesh.12 The primary record for the deeds of the early church, the Book of Acts, authorizes the expectation or at least the possibility of the third type of angelic encounter—angelic miracles and comfort. In Acts 12, an angel liberates Peter from Herod's prison, performing several miracles in the process. Acts 5:19 records a similar incident. As the church passed from the age of the apostles to the age of the martyrs, so did the angels remain steadfast in their service to God's chosen.13 Fully within this tradition—indeed transmitting it in yet another form to the thirteenth and subsequent centuries—Jacobus presents many instances of angels aiding the saints. Saints Maur, Juliana, Gregory, and Vitus all receive the assistance of angels or have angels involved in their miraculous paths to sainthood. Regular miraculous intervention by the angels seems to be something that most saints experienced. On the other hand, Caesarius presents angels providing assistance to holy people who are not necessarily saints in the technical sense.14 Bonaventure provides a further example of this third category of angelic visions: angelic comforting of the afflicted on earth. Francis, he records, lay ill, and he hoped to hear some sweet music. So great was Francis's sanctity that the angels themselves came to play for him. Similarly, Bernard of Clairvaux states that hearing the singing of angels was a gift Saint Victor merited. These passages from Bonaventure and Bernard suggest that the angels comfort only those who lead the holiest and most mortifying lives. While the Christians of Caesarius's text who receive the aid and apparitions of angels are not always particularly exceptional, many were revered and respected by the Cistercian order. Aquinas does not distinguish between saintly or nonsaintly recipients of angelic power when he argues that, properly speaking, angels perform miracles not through their own powers but by God's. The Angelic Doctor here is responding to both Arabic philosophical doctrines about the powers of separated substances and to beliefs about magic, both learned and popular. These issues compelled him to clarify precisely the limits of angelic power. As with the early Christological doctrines, it was the presence



of competing teachings that led to the detailed formulation of the scope of angelic operations. Such concerns are not on Caesarius's agenda; they are simply not an issue for him.15 Just as Peter Lombard's Sentences helped to set the agenda for Aquinas and the scholastic world, so did these visions and dreams from Scripture, saints' lives, and popular stories help to form the set of expectations and sensibilities of Christians. While the Reformation objected to the idea of saints not angels, Luther himself would also be wary of angels and dreams. Thus Protestants would be more ambivalent than Catholics on this matter of angelic visitations. Keith Thomas records instances in early modern England in which different Protestants claimed both that angels still appeared and that spirits would manifest themselves no longer.16 Not all angelic miracles were benign, however. The just punishment of the foes of God seems to have been one of the regular functions of angels in biblical times, and these narratives formed the basis for the medieval belief in God's avenging angel. In II Samuel 24:16, God sends an angel to punish the Israelites. The angels who appear to Lot blind the Sodomites who attack Lot outside his house (Gen. 19:11). And an angel smites Herod "because he did not give God the glory" (Acts 12:23). Hence, Caesarius relates the story of an angel who slays a man about to kill a holy abbot. Similarly, Jacobus relates that two angels, imitating the angels of Sodom, blinded the idolatrous father of Saint Vitus.17 Angels serving both to punish the wicked and aid the faithful represent both the justice and mercy of God. The angels thus become a way of expressing both sides of this paradox. One of the most important of all medieval discussions of angels by popular writers and academic theologians alike was the topic of the relationship between demons and angels. Of particular concern was the recognition that demons sometimes appear as angels. Did not 2 Corinthians 11:14 warn that "even Satan disguises himself as an angel of light"? The dangers of the temptations of the demons and, even worse, the fear that they might not be recognized properly, were quite real (the possibility of Joan of Arc's vision of Michael being demonic was one of the issues in her trial). Thus, it was believed that because a Franciscan could not recognize the demon who appeared to him as an angel, he followed the devil's commandments and crucified himself.18 Jacobus and Caesarius provide several examples of of this important problem in the life of the Christian. In Jacobus's "Life of Saint Juliana," a demon appears to her as an angel as she is in prison. He tells her that she can escape death by sacrificing to the pagan idols. Juliana, suspecting evil afoot, prays for the correct knowledge of what this creature might be, and a voice tells her to grab the creature and make him confess his identity. The demon admits his false nature and then reveals many things about the nature of the demons. Only narrowly has she escaped from idolatry and damnation. Similarly, Caesarius relates the story of a woman recluse who did not have the ability to distinguish between good and evil spirits (the discretio spirituum of 1 Cor. 12:10).19 As Caesarius relates the tale, such a gift seems to be quite helpful but not essential for the Christian to detect the wily ones. The recluse's confessor suspects that she might have been a victim of a demon because he knows his 2 Corinthians 11:14. He tells her to ask this spirit to show to her the Blessed Virgin. Upon hearing the request, the demon creates a phantasm of



a beautiful woman, but when the recluse falls down and cries out the angelic salutation, Ave Maria, both the phantasm and the demon disappear. This story appears in Caesarius's book 7, on Mary, and it illustrates the power of calling on Mary's name. More importantly, it illustrates the need of calling on her name to overcome this dreadful problem of ambiguous spiritual apparitions. Given the limitations of human knowledge and perception, what protection and certainty could a typical Christian have against a being claiming to be an angel? While Juliana suspected foul counsel, would a simple recluse be able to detect a demon solely from his religious recommendations? And conversely, how could those without the gift of discerning true and false spirits be prepared to receive a true angelic being with confidence? Mary's name provided medieval Christians with an answer to this dilemma. It provided a certainty where the scriptural proof-text provided only a warning. In at least one case, the holy titles of the highest spirits of heaven offered a similar surety against their demonic counterparts. As noted earlier, Salimbene records that Brother Benintende was able to drive a demon out a woman by making the demon name the nine orders of angels (such a task caused the devil too much pain).20 A final question concerning angelic visions and appearances is the question of the relationship between learned scholastic theology and the needs and religious practices of everyday Christians. As parts I and II of this study revealed, historical (i.e., scriptural) and popular records of angelic appearances generated great investigations of the metaphysics and mechanics of angels. Did the scholastic questions of form and matter, corporeality and body, teleportation and transportation affect or come into contact with similar concerns, questions, and interests in the popular encounters with angels? Unfortunately, one of the clearest juxtapositions of scholastic interests and visions is an unusual one. Ekbert of Schonau had been trained in Paris, and so he himself was eager to ask his sister Elisabeth about certain details of angelology. While he wanted to know answers to problems posed by PseudoDionysius or other writers, the visionary herself seems to have been far less interested in the matter.21 A number of examples indicate that popular writers did engage in a few explorations which touched upon scholastic concerns. Caesarius presents an important discussion of how humans perceive angels. He states that when people who are not dead behold angels they see the angels "under figures and forms [sub aliqua similtudine et liniamentis], for the sake of the living," but when a man sees angels and souls when he too is permanently in heaven, he sees them "actually as they are [sicuti sunt]". There is a recognition that angels are not as they appear but they transcend the capacities of earthly comprehension. Caesarius does not present the types of arguments that Bonaventure and his colleagues deduced and adduced (he does not even use technical theological terms), but he does affirm the need for recognizing the special nature of the angels. Similarly, Guibert of Nogent also speculates about whether pure spirits would need or use proper names, thus indicating his awareness of the peculiar nature of angelic epistemology. Another question that interested popular writers and learned scholastics alike was the question of "teleportation." In an age of limited transportation, the ability to move instantaneously or even rapidly would certainly be a most marvelous power. Caesarius



discusses angelic locomotion, and Alexander Nequam praises Michael's marvelous ability simultaneously to escort two souls to heaven that depart their bodies at the same time.22 While Dante could hardly be considered representative of medieval attitudes and beliefs, his investigation of the nature of the spirits would have been understood by some, if not many, of his more educated contemporaries. Dante raises questions of the hierarchies, of hylomorphism, of angelic knowledge and speech. He incorporates technical terms such as potency and act. In short, he presents a small, scholastically informed treatise on angels in cantos XXVIII and XXIX of the Paradiso. These cantos illustrate the interest many would have had in the more technical aspects of angelology. Questions of angelic nature did arise in nontechnical texts, as many medieval Christians were interested to know more about the spirits of heaven. Mysticism and the Ecstasy of the Angels The possibility of experiencing the realm that was home to the angelic nature was of particular importance for mystics. Jacobus identifies several functions of angels that resemble aspects of the mystical path. Angels inflame the soul to love, illuminate minds, and strengthen and prepare Christians for heavenly existence (the roles of angels in confession and the purgation of sins has already been discussed in chapter 8).23 Referring to a passage in Ezekiel, and explicitly citing Apocalypse 10 and 1 Kings 19, Jacobus, though he does not use the terms, affirms the importance of the angels for the three stages traditionally ascribed to mysticism: purgation, illumination, and perfection. These functions of angels were present from the earliest reflections on celestial spirits; having been emphasized by PseudoDionysius, these angelic roles continued to manifest themselves in various types of writings throughout the Middle Ages. Yet while there are records of angels serving as messengers, rarely are there stories of angels directly assisting Christians along the mystical path. Catherine of Sienna states that God's human ministers are like angels; both infuse virtue and inspire spiritual ardor, both provide Christians with "good and holy inspirations." But here she is more interested in humans than angels. Aquinas affirmed that angels stir the mind, and Bonaventure's doctrine of illumination had a theoretical role for angels, but these angelic duties appear marginal in the overall context of their epistemologies and teachings on the affections.24 While theologians may haved affirmed a belief in angelic illumination, rarely did they discuss it in practice. The seraphim provided an important vehicle for Christian reflections on love, but rarely were angels portrayed as infusing such love directly. Whereas angels play a great role in visions of the afterlife, angels seem to be marginal in the mystical treatises. After all, in the afterlife, one is to be with the angels; in mysticism, one is to be with God. Bernard McGinn offers a useful descriptive understanding of mysticism. His focus on "the mystical element in Christianity [as] that part of its belief and practices that concerns the preparation for, the consciousness of, and the reaction to what can be described as the immediate or direct presence of God" makes it easier to distinguish between experiences of angelic visions and mysticism proper. Elisabeth of Schonau, for example, rarely experienced such a direct presence of God,




even though her angel regularly seized her into raptures, visions, and otherworldly journeys of various kinds. Still, angels could be important for preparing for such a different consciousness of God or for articulating the experience itself. Thus Christians spoke figuratively of raptures in angelic terms; Brother John of Alverna was said to have been raised to the cherubic splendor and the seraphic fire during his mystical raptures.25 Such descriptions echoed Paul's claim in 2 Corinthians 12:2, when he states that he was "caught up to the third heaven—whether in the body or out of the body I do not know." The common understanding of the angelic hierarchies and their proximity to God provided language for expressing such an intense and unmediated experience of the divine. In addition to these important figurative descriptions of beholding God, two other questions concerning angels and mysticism need to be considered. First, were angels themselves active in the mystic's quest? Did their ministries further the Christian's ascent to God? Second, to what extent did the biblical descriptions of angels enjoying God's direct presence provide medieval writers with a conceptual vehicle for ascertaining the mysteries of the soul's approach to the divine? In other words, did the exegesis of the seraphim worshipping God in Isaiah 6 or of the cherubim on top of the Ark of the Covenant in Exodus 25 provide a particular kind of access to the presence of God which transcended simple figurative descriptions of raptures? A detailed examination of these questions is beyond the scopt of this study as it would entail, among other things, careful analyses of the different technical terms employed by mystics and their related epistemological presuppositions. Steven Chase's Angelic Wisdom: The Cherubim and the Grace of Contemplation in Richard of St. Victor demonstrates how rewarding such detailed interpretations of the roles of angels can be and how much work needs to be done in this area. Likewise, Bernard McGinn's ongoing four-volume study, The Presence of God: A History of Western Christian Mysticism, illustrates the complexity of medieval mysticism as a whole and the great range of mystical practices and possibilities. Without engaging in an extensive analysis of the various kinds of mysticism or of a particular text, however, it is possible at this stage to provide basic answers to these two questions of the intersection of angels and mysticism. As Bernard McGinn observes in his study of Bernard of Clairvaux's mysticism in the second volume of his study, Bernard's discussion of the active ministries of the angels in Sermon 41 of his Sermons on the Song of Songs is unusual in medieval Western mysticism. While Pseudo-Dionysius had discussed the importance of angelic service, and while John Scotus Eriugena in his Commentary on the Areopagite's Celestial Hierarchies was likewise interested in what the angels actually do for Christians, such presentations of angelic activity in the specific context of discussing the Christian's experience of the presence of God are rare. The Areopagite's beliefs concerning the roles of the angels remained largely undeveloped in medieval mystical treatises. Significantly, Bernard, who, as noted in chapter 3 seems to have not been influenced by Pseudo-Dionysius, explores the angels' contributions as part of a broad exegesis of the Song of Songs. In contrast to works such as Bonaventure's Itinerarium Mentis ad Deum which were developed specifically to assist Christians in their mystical, meditative, or contemplative lives, Bernard's Sermons touch freely on many subjects.



Hence when he comes to the passage "We will make you golden earrings, inlaid with silver" (Song of Songs 1:10, Vulgate), he is able to speculate that the "we" are the angels and that the earrings signify the spiritual sensa and similtudines (sensations and images of objects) which the angels provide to the soul as the soul is granted a rare vision of divine splendor. Such angelic representations (which also includes appropriate words to describe the experience) help the soul to perceive what would otherwise be beyond its grasp. And while such things are clearly inferior to the vision which God provides directly (and only rarely), such gifts are necessary. For as the text of the Song indicates, such earrings—gifts from the Bridegroom's companions—are preparations for the ultimate wedding of the Bride and the Bridegroom, of the soul and Christ. While, as has already been noted, other writers describe such illuminations of the soul by the angels, it was unusual for such a discussion to be in the context of the union of the soul with God. Bernard's exegetical discourse provided him with the opportunity to make this connection explicit—and it was occasioned by the explicit biblical reference to the Bridgeroom's followers. By coming to the experience of the Christian's experience of the divine through the Song of Songs, then, Bernard is able to develop an explicit role for the angels in mysticism. Moreover, as McGinn observes, Bernard's conception of the Bride as already a union of angels and humans allows the abbot to ascribe a role for the Bridegroom's companions which other exegetes of the Song of Songs did not explore. An examination of the second set of questions concerning the importance of angels in mysticism yields a rich harvest, because many theologians argued that the presentations of the cherubim and seraphim in the Bible, when carefully considered, do offer the means for the soul to fathom the otherwise unfathomable. One of the central themes of McGinn's analysis of mysticism is the medieval use of biblical symbols as vehicles for contemplation and spiritual progress. Figures such as the worshipping seraphim of Isaiah 6 provided a device for speculation and meditation such that, ultimately, careful, usually allegorical study of the symbols would open up worlds of experience otherwise unexpressable by human reason. As creatures whose nature exceeded humanity's and whose proximity to God was immediate, the peculiar description of the highest order of angels therefore constituted a conceptual resource which could disclose mysteries. In particular, the specific descriptions of the placement of the six wings of the seraphim elicited lengthy meditations. Whether a theologian held that the wings of these angels covered their own feet and face or the feet and face of the Lord (both readings were possible, though iconographically the seraphim were depicted as covering their own bodies), the combination of being directly before God and yet being in the act of hiding made such angels perfect figures for combining both the kataphatic and apophatic aspects of mysticism. On the one hand, they promised intimacy and affirmed the possibilty of knowledge, but on the other hand, they indicated the limitations of the fallen condition and the inability of the human mind to perceive God directly. Some specific examples from the central Middle Ages, which themselves drew on earlier medieval traditions, illustrate this utilization of angelic depictions from the Bible. Broadly speaking, two major, often overlapping strands of mysticism



seem to have been most frequently followed in the thirteenth and early fourteenth century—the Franciscan and the Anglo-Germanic.26 The former, exemplified by Bonaventure, drew on the monastic (especially Cistercian) tradition and on Pseudo-Dionysius and sought a Christocentric mystical union. The latter, exemplified by Meister Eckhart (ca. 1260—ca.i327) and Julian of Norwich (ca. 1342— after 1413), also drew on Pseudo-Dionysian Neoplatonism but was more Dominican in character (stressing the importance of the intellect). The Germanic mystics preferred to seek a merger with the divine mystery than with Christ. Both types of mysticism incorporated angels into their explanations and understandings of the mystical path, but because mysticism involved primarily a different awareness, consciousness, or experience of God, these uses of angels exemplify primarily the importance of angels as conceptual, symbolic resources. In his Itinerarium Mentis ad Deum, Bonaventure utilizes three of his favorite angelic images: the six-winged seraph, the two cherubim who stand atop the Ark of the Covenant, and the nine orders.27 Seeing Francis's encounter with the seraph as the key to the mystical path, Bonaventure concludes that there are six stages in the quest for God, three external and three internal: through the creation, in human perception of the lower creatures, through humanity's own natural mental powers, in God's image in the grace-filled soul, through God's being, and in God's goodness. The two wings of the seraph that cover the seraph's feet signify the first two stages, the things which are below humans. The second pair of wings, which cover the body, pertain to those things that properly belong to humanity, and the third set of wings, which hover above, exemplify God who is above humanity. The six-winged seraph then, provides the conceptual framework for Bonaventure's entire treatise. While the immediate inspiration for Bonaventure was Francis's vision, Hugh of St. Victor, Isaac of Stella, and many others were his predecessors in meditating on the significance of the six wings of the seraphim. (Moreover, as discussed in chapter 8, the singing of the Sanctus and the association with the seraphim which it represented also suggested that Isaiah 6 was a passage ripe with mystical possibilities.) Similarly, the two cherubim provide Bonaventure with a way of distinguishing between the contemplation of God through "the attributes proper to His Essence" and the contemplation of the "attributes proper to the Persons." The two angels who "are turned toward each other, but with their faces looking toward the propitiatory" contain this "mysterious significance," thus allowing Bonaventure to do justice both to the unity of God and to the Trinity. Finally, Bonaventure, again following Isaac of Stella, compares the ascent of the soul with the nine orders. He finds that the lowest three ranks pertain to man's nature, the next three to his own effort, and the last three to God's grace.28 Just as the cherubim mediated between the unity and Trinity of God, so do the nine orders mediate between the three major aspects of spiritual progress. He combines and orders the essential elements of nature, merit, and grace, according to the scheme that the angels provide. The explanatory value of the angels for Bonaventure can hardly be underestimated, but the angels' direct contribution to the actual experience of the mystical was not developed by the Seraphic Doctor. Similarly, in Richard of Saint Victor's meditations on the significance of the



cherubim on the Ark of the Covenant in his The Mystical Ark (which influenced Bonaventure's own writing), angels are interpreted as figures for human contemplation, as symbols for elevating the soul or mind toward God. For Richard, the cherubim do not elevate the human person themselves. Rather, the Christian desiring to join the cherubim in their proximity to God must learn from the fact that the cherubim are made of beaten gold. As with such precise metalwork, the ongoing work of sighs and lamentations that hammers and reforges the human person with "repeated blows" is required for attaining the cherubim's highest forms of divine knowledge. Precisely because the epistemological and moral limitations of the human person are so severe, symbols such as the exalted cherubim are needed. Thus, as Steven Chase has shown, Richard's text is an intricate example of the rich possibilites inherent in medieval tropological exegesis. Each of the cherubim provide a vehicle for the Victorine's exploration of the two highest forms of contemplation, the contemplation of those matters which are above human reason but are not beyond it and the contemplation of those matters which transcend all human reason—the contemplation of God both in His unity and in His Trinity. As these angels hover before God, so too do they help bring the Christian to this same presence, a process which Chase labels "angelization." Ultimately, the cherubim represent a particular kind of symbol graciously revealed in Scripture, one which enables the Christian to use it as a nexus between the human and the divine. The process of the sustained contemplative exegesis of these angels and the other details of the Ark is as if unravelling a ball of thread would produce a string on which the soul could ascend to heaven.29 Meister Eckhart also incorporates ideas of angels into his explanations of spiritual and mystical experience. Yet his ideas about angels are more difficult to grasp because of the fluid nature of his terms. At times, he states that angels are merely ideas of God, and at other times he repeats traditional statements about how angels assist man spiritually. Eckhart's belief in humanity's preexistence in God (and hence in the concomitant belief in the soul's ultimate return to the Godhead) meant that angels would have less relevance for him. At best, angels can serve as a sort of midwife for the birth of God in the soul. But such a birth, Eckhart stresses, is really the work of God.30 Julian of Norwich has even less of a role for angels. Indeed, in her Revelations of Divine Love, a series of mystical experiences in 1373, she states that nothing was revealed to her of the angels.31 Her experiences focused on the Passion of Christ and on the infusion of God's love into the soul. She stresses not layers of hierarchies, series of angelic and saintly mediations, or any such set of beliefs within which angels perform their ministering functions. Rather, she emphasizes the sufficiency of Christ and God's love. By contrast, Christ seems hardly present in Richard of St. Victor's text. If God is distantly enthroned, Christians must ascend and the cherubim are crucial; if Christ manifests Himself to humans, then the direct presence of God obviates the need for angels. Far from being potentially ubiquitous, for Julian, angels have become totally unnecessary. Similarly, when Jesus appears to Margery Kempe, He is not always the stern, enthroned judge surrounded by a retinue of angels but often a friendly visitor. As it became possible to imagine an intimacy with Jesus, it was no longer necessary to have angels serve as messengers or mediators.



Thus, the greatest value of angels for mysticism and its related experiences seems to have been linguistic and conceptual. The six-winged seraph, the two cherubim of the Ark, and the nine hierarchies of angels provide Bonaventure and others with ways of speaking about the ascent of the soul and the culminating experience and worship of the divine. Certainly, Walter Hilton's (d. 1396) "The Song of the Angels" declares that the purified soul is able to hear angels singing, their presence providing heavenly joy. And late medieval weekly schemes for meditative practices or spiritual exercises, drawing ultimately on the weekly cycle in the liturgy, could indeed dedicate certain days of the week to angelic devotions.32 But as Julian indicates, since the mystics sought God not the angels, angels would have but specific, limited roles in medieval mysticism. Warfare, Crusading Ideals, and the Protection of Angels Ideas and beliefs about angels served not only the mystics but also the warriors of medieval Christendom. The connections between angels and war have scriptural origins, in particular, in the great war between Michael and his angels and the dragon and his followers in Apocalypse 12. This story offered a powerful image and paradigm for the holiest of warfare. Similarly, the frequent references to God as the Lord of (angelic) hosts in the Old Testament also provided an image of angelic warriors arrayed for sacred battle.33 Thus it is not unusual for the history of Christian warfare to be related to beliefs about angels. Caesarius provides an illustration of how an angelic passage from Genesis could serve as the typological basis for a military encounter involving Templars and Saracens. Citing Genesis 32:1—2 (in which angels protect Jacob as he returns to his own land fearing an imminent attack), he tells how angels overcame a host of infidels who would have slain six Templars. The story serves as an illustration of how God's angels protect the faithful; Caesarius highlights God's own certainty of the true faith of these knights. Interestingly, the Saracens cannot see the angels. Perhaps this story also serves as an example of the need to have faith to behold angelic spirits as they serve in this world. By contrast, according to the account preserved by Jacobus, John Chrysostom was able to defend Constantinople against Gaimas (who was both a barbarian and an Arian) because a rather visible armed host of angels appeared and frightened away the invaders.34 As discussed in the previous chapter on Michael's feast days, Jacobus and writers of liturgical treatises preserve the story of a battle between pagans and Christians at Monte Gargano in which the Christians invoke the aid of Michael. During the fight, the mountain shook, lighting-arrows fell from the sky slaying six hundred pagans, "the enemy fled, and the Christians gain the victory." Jacobus places this story in the context of Michael's multiple victories, military and spiritual. Andreas of Fleury, writing in the middle of the eleventh century, records that at the battle of Tora in Spain, Michael, Mary, and Peter each slew five thousand of the seventeen thousand Moslems so that the Christians would win.35 (This story illustrates how other saints could enter the fray, much like the gods and goddesses in the Iliad.) In an important sense, Michael's mission is one of struggle and contention. Michael fights Satan and pagans in physical combat, and he also contests demons for the souls of the departed. And prior to



that, Michael and the angels struggle to protect their human charges from the demons who seek to damn their souls. One the most important connections between Michael and warfare was the link between the Normans and Michael, first at Mont-Saint-Michel in Normandy, and after the conquest of England, at Saint Michael's Mount in Cornwall. Records of donations at these places indicate the importance of the archangel for Normans. While Bishop Aubert of Avranche had established an oratory on MontSaint-Michel at the beginning of the eighth century, it was not until 966 that Richard I, duke of Normandy, endowed the Benedictine monastery there. A century later, Count Robert of Mortain carried a banner of Michael at the battle of Hastings, and he gave the Cornish abbey a half-hide of land and a market on Thursdays. Michael's care also extended over the safe birth of Count Robert's son, and after the birth, the count further granted three more acres of land. As Robert placed Michael on his banner, so did Joan of Arc place Michael and Gabriel on her standard. Likewise, as mentioned in chapter 7, depictions of an angel in armor were part of Cola di Rienzo's political propaganda in the middle of the fourteenth century in Rome. The iconographic representation of angelic warriors here helped to legitimate revolutionary and military activities. Similarly, the representation of angels celebrating a battlefield victory could confirm the justice of the triumph, as when the choirs that greeted Henry V on his return to London from Agincourt were costumed as angels. On a more personal level, depictions of angels guarding knights, such as in figure 9, would have provided some hope that not only chain mail, but also celestial spirits could deflect enemy weapons.36 Carl Erdmann's study of the origins of crusading discusses the importance of the cult of Michael for the Christianization of warfare. Other saints, notably Saints George and Maurice, were also important in this process, although as Philippe Contamine has noted, the history of the rise of the cults of these saints is still incomplete. It remains clear, however, that a leading figure in the development of the crusading ideal and the Christianization of warfare was an angel. Images throughout cathedrals, churches, and chapels of Michael fighting Satan presented the idea of the fighting angel to the Christians who passed through these buildings, and it is hardly surprising that at the epic defence of Malta against the Turks in 1565, two of the fortifications from which the Knights of St. John were fighting were called St. Angelo and St. Michael's. Thus Bonaventure could assure his audience that Michael would indeed be on their side in warfare. Such affirmations about Michael made it possible for some to locate the origins of chivalry itself in the angelic realms.37 King Alfonso Henriques of Portugal (1139-85) was quite explicit about Michael's role in his founding of a military order, the Order of Saint Michael, also called the Order of the Wing. The king maintained that Michael and his guardian angel came to his aid when he was set upon by a great number of Moors. While he was fighting fiercely on foot trying to regain his captured standard, an arm "surmounted by the wing of an angel" appeared "fighting for and protecting" the king (the body of the arm was not seen, though captured Moors professed seeing the hand). Subsequently, the king established the Order of Saint Michael to be presided over by the Cistercian Abbot of Alcobaca. Members of this order were to




live much like Cistercian lay brothers; the abbot was to "have jurisdiction over them" and to "compel them to relinquish their concubines and that most evil life." Widows would not be allowed to remarry, and upon being admitted to the order, the knights were to give a donation to the altar of Saint Michael in the abbey church. The members of the order, as the founding is recorded, would be allowed to wear the "insignia of a purple wing resplendant with gold" over their hearts and on their shields to commemorate the miracle, and they would have the honor of fighting next to the king or his standard in battle.38 As Michael was important for the Christianization of warfare, and as the quasimagical duties of the orders of virtues, powers, and archangels helped smooth the process of conversion of pagans devoted to magical practices, so too was Michael important in the history of the conversion of the warlike peoples of Europe, particularly Northern Europe. From the time of the conversion of Constantine, this angel allowed military men to have both their Christianity and their swordplay. The Icelandic Njal's Saga (composed ca. 1280), for example, reveals that Michael was popular right from the beginning of the conversion of the island. (The saga also records that some pagans were resistant because they believed that Christ cowardly refused Thor's challenge of a duel.) The spread of Christianity among the Nordic peoples was often mixed with threats of violence, and hence the cult of a warrior-saint was important. Similarly, the cult of Michael was prominent in Russia from the earliest days of Christianity, and devotion to the archangel as manifest in church dedications and the use of Michael's symbols was particularly widespread among royalty and princes.39 Hence ideas of spirits and war were interwoven dramatically in the medieval world. Some scholastics recognized the importance of angels for Christian knights and warriors. Alexander Nequam stated that the powers excite just wars (justa bella) and also bring peace. However, both Bonaventure and Aquinas were more concerned with defining the angels in broader terms, in terms of angelic governing and administering temporal affairs, which only implicitly included martial activity.40 It is important to note that while banners of Michael might be carried into battle against armies of Christians, the stories of angelic intervention in battles, as the foregoing examples illustrate, are primarily interventions in the struggles between Christians and pagans. As Nequam indicated, angelic combat, following the warfare in the Apocalypse, seems most suited for battles which are truly holy, truly just. Death and Resurrection Perhaps the most common of angelic motifs in medieval Christianity was the presence of angels at the moment of death and in the life of the soul after its separation from the body. Jacobus's account of Saint Martin presents the angels singing at his death so that they can be heard not only by those at Martin's side but also by a bishop in another city. Similarly, Caesarius presents several accounts of angels singing at funerals or over deathbeds. As might be expected, given the relationships between angels and the afterlife, no other aspect of angels seems to have been so well represented in medieval stories, doctrines, and art. As Pamela



Sheingorn observes, such depictions were understood in both the indicative and subjunctive moods. They declared that angels do bear the souls of saints to heaven, and they expressed the hope of the viewer that an angel might lead his or her own soul to heaven as well. To state that a person had joined the angels was to state that he or she had achieved the ultimate victory, the summum bonum of human existence. (It was also to state that this person's cult was legitimate.)41 An early Christian inscription on a tomb on the Greek island of Thera reads, "I adjure you by the Angel above this grave that no one should dare lay another corpse within it." Apparently, angels played a significant role in burial customs and respect for graves even in the first Christian centuries. The precedent for angels at a grave came from the Gospel accounts of the angel(s) at Christ's grave. The medieval period continued this association with the commissions of Angel Pieta and in devotional practices surrounding such images. Prayers before the dead Christ were worth a great many indulgences in the later Middle Ages, and angels that exhibited the body of Christ served to present the Savior and His wounds to viewers. Such images also helped to support the relationship between the death of Christians and angels. Thus, there appeared "mourning angels" and other depictions of angels for funerary monuments. The tombstone of Hugh Libergier (d. 1263), the architect of Saint Nicaise at Reims, portrays the angels who (presumably) greeted his soul when it arrived in heaven. So powerful were the beliefs about angels and tombs that European Christians dying as far away as China in the fourteenth century chose to have angels on their tombstones.42 The belief that angels would bear the elect to heavenly bliss was based on the transportation of the beggar to Abraham's bosom in Luke 16:22. This association is reflected in a stained glass in Notre Dame in Paris showing an angel escorting a soul, and in the frequent portrayals of Abraham receiving souls and their angels in sermons, stories, and art. Bonaventure uses this story as a frequent motif in his sermons on the Feast of Saint Michael. In one such sermon, for example, he relates that Augustine was taken up into heaven by the angels. In medieval prayers to the guardian angels, requests for the angel to lead the soul into heaven are quite common.43 Jacobus uses three passages from Scripture to illuminate the three main roles he identifies for the angels who minister to men at death. Citing Malachi 3:1 ("Behold I [God] send my angelum to prepare the way before me"), he declares that angels prepare the way for souls. Exodus 23:20 (Behold, I [God] send an angdumplace Ithu brthpto guard you on the way and to b pared") tells him that angels transport souls, and the familiar Lukan passage reveals that angels place the souls in heaven. In addition to the prayers that a person might offer to his or her guardian angel, the elaborate rituals accompanying the death and burial practices of medieval Christians also invoked the angels. In part as a response to fears about demons seizing the souls of the dead, the Commendations became a central feature of medieval dying. Included in these prayers, which may be as old as the fifth century and are present throughout medieval liturgies, are the Subvenite and the Suscipiat, two prayers seeking angelic support. At several times—at the moment of death, as the body is prepared, as it is carried to the church, during the recitation of the Office of the Dead, and at the absolution—the living would have prayed the Subveri'



ite, "Come to his assistance, ye saints of God, meet him ye angels of the Lord, receiving his soul, offering it in the sight of the Most High." Subsequently, they would pray the Suscipiat, "May Christ, who has called thee, receive thee and may the angels conduct thee into Abraham's bosom." The living were able to release their friend, family member, or colleague with hopes that he or she would join a new society of angels and saints. Moreover, the ritual of the Commendations, the texts of which were often illustrated with depictions of angels bearing souls upward, allowed Christians to assist the dead in this uncertain transition. So important was the role of the living in invoking angelic aid that guilds required members to attend these services for their deceased colleagues. As a guildsman sought the help of the angels for his friend, he knew that one day his friends would do the same for him. Another indication of the significance of such funerary practices is that Protestants continued them in their own devotions, as can be seen from the last stanza of Martin Schalling's hymn "Herzlich lieb hab ich dich, o Herr," which calls for angels to escort Christian souls to Abraham's bosom.44 Angelic appearances at and after death exhibit the same diversity and range of behavior as did the angels of dreams and visions. While there seem to have been some familiar patterns, they are far from predictable. Sometimes angels would appear to fight demons over the soul of the deceased. This motif found its scriptural warrant in Jude 9, in which Michael and the devil contend over the body of Moses. At other times, the ascension to join the angels would be quite simple and beautiful.45 Michael frequently appears in scenes of death in his role as presenter of souls to God. As noted earlier, Bonaventure records that Francis observed a special devotion to the archangel because of this sacred duty. Similarly, both Caesarius and Jacobus hail Michael in this capacity; as Caesarius's monk states, "Of all the angels he [Michael] is the most attentive about aiding the human race." This is one of the older traditions surrounding Michael, and stories of his appearance occur throughout the Middle Ages (they derived ultimately, perhaps, from Greek notions of psychopompoi, spirits who escort souls). Thus, Gregory of Tours relates that Michael appeared to the girl Disciola on her deathbed. And the author of the Song of Roland states that in the hero's last moments on earth, Michael (specifically the Michael of Mont-Saint-Michel), Gabriel, and a cherub bear Roland's soul to heaven.46 An important cultural image that shaped expectations of angels was the presentation of a crown by an angel to a soul newly arrived in heaven. The stained glass of Notre Dame, for example, presented this image to Bonaventure and his contemporaries. Similarly, Caesarius presents Michael waiting to crown the saints.47 Such images linked the soteriological hopes and expectations of medieval Christians to the angels. For these people, the angels were identified with some of their most important desires. A story preserved in the Life of Saint Louis suggests that, for some, the uniquely human dilemma of faith meant that angels would be inferior to men in heaven. In responding to several Cathars, the comte de Montfort asserts that because he follows what the church teaches, even on matters as difficult as transubstantiation, he will receive a "crown in heaven, and a finer one than the angels, for they see God face to face and consequently cannot but believe."48 For some, angels would seem to be fellow spiritual creatures of God, yet



for others, their privileged status would make them seem alien, quite distant from human beings. Still, the image—and expectation—of angels receiving souls into heaven was a powerful one, reinforced by widespread, evocative images depicted in illuminations of the Apocalypse (see figure 4). Another tradition, of uncertain origin, portrays Michael in a different eschatological role. Many tympana, particularly in the Romanesque period, portray Michael as a judge, with a set of scales weighing souls. (As with many roles of angels, the role of the weigher of souls could also be delegated to others, such as Saint Peter, or it could remain with God; in some images of the scales, then, it is God's hand not Michael's that hold the soteriological measuring device.)49 While this archangelic motif seems more prominent in the earlier Romanesque spirituality than in the later spirituality of the Gothic age (recall that Francis's Michael presents souls to God, he does not judge them), such tympana remained part of the physical world in which subsequent Christians enacted their spiritual beliefs. Such a image would suggest a set of expectations filled with the terror of uncertainty. In the tympanum over the west door of Autun Cathedral (ca. 1130-35), a desperate soul clings to an angel for deliverance during the Resurrection of the Dead.50 This depiction suggests that for many Christians in the Middle Ages, their spiritual fate was unknown, and angels would, so it seems, be involved in each of the possibilities confronting the departed soul. Indeed, two other options existed, both of which involved angels. In explaining the tares of the field, Jesus declares that "the Son of man will send his angels, and they will gather out of his kingdom all causes of sin and all evildoers, and throw them into the furnace of fire; there men will weep and gnash their teeth. willngecoSo it will be at the close of the age. Th and separate the evil from the righteous" (Matt. 13:41-42, 49). Similarly, Jacobus citing a passage in Job, reads "heavens" anagogically as "angels," and states that the angels will reveal the sins of mortals. Thus, medieval depictions of the Last Judgement frequently provided images of angry angels, and prayers to Christ could invoke His mercy against the "avenging Angel."51 Ultimately, however, while the angels might separate these two 'classes, as Dante and others portray hell the demons have the duty of tormenting them eternally. Hence, demons were feared more than the avenging Angel who manifested God's justice. While there would be little room for angels in hell, there would certainly be tasks for them in Purgatory. Thus, Jean Danielou links the angels to early Christian concepts of what was to become Purgatory.52 Given the eschatological and anagogical character of angels, this is hardly surprising. Jacobus's account of this region, though not as clear and as refined as Dante's, does ascribe two important roles for the angels in the mechanics of Purgatory. As might be expected, angels serve as part of both the justice and the mercy of God. On the one hand they torment the evil angels (who then torment the souls), and on the other, they often visit those whom the demons are torturing and provide them with some comfort.53 Thus, as discussed previously, the weekly cycle of Votive Masses dedicated one day to the suffrage of the angels for the sake of those in Purgatory. But the proper place for these angels, and indeed ultimately for the souls in Purgatory, was heaven. Once the soul, having been gathered by angels and pre-




sented to God by Michael, arrived in heaven, it could expect to enjoy the angelic existence, "For in the resurrection they neither marry nor are given in marriage, but are like angels in heaven" (Matt. 22:30). The expectations of heavenly life were another way in which angels came to shape devotional attitudes and mold Christian experiences. In the Soliloquy, Bonaventure reminds the soul to "turn your thoughts to the choirs of angels, for in some way you resemble them by your nature, and you will be their companion in glory." In this text he affirms the traditional identification between redeemed souls and angels. The soul knows that it will join one of the heavenly choirs, and indeed, each person will be placed in the hierarchy appropriate to his or her life, as Jacobus's presentation of Thomas Becket's earthly departure indicates (he joins the martyrs). Just as the angels intervened to change the sorrowful funeral mass for Becket into the praise-filled chant of the martyrs, so did knowledge of heavenly rewards provide comfort in the Middle Ages to mourning Christians while on earth. Those who remained in the flesh knew that, as Catherine of Sienna declared, the joyful love of angels and humans will mingle in heaven. And this joy will express itself as it was depicted in medieval iconography—as the singing of the Sanctus with the seraphim and the celebration of the Heavenly Liturgy. The joining of the angelic and human societies in praise, which is experienced only partially during the Mass on earth, will be known fully in heaven.54 With the arrival of the soul in its heavenly throne, this chapter completes the story that began with the fall of the evil angels from their thrones. From birth through death and resurrection, angels were an integral part of the medieval church. By the middle of the thirteenth century, every aspect of medieval religious life had become interwoven with the angels. The angels had become ubiquitous not only for the scholastics, who were required to deliver formal commentaries on obscure aspects of angelic metaphysics, and not only for the religious orders which saw themselves in terms of angelic typologies, but also for any Christian who participated in the rituals and sacraments of the medieval church. In the Conclusion of this study the central themes of parts I-IV will be drawn together.

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Conclusion The Harvest of Medieval Angelology

Angels answered the needs of diverse people and institutions in the Middle Ages. Clerics and warriors, mystics and pilgrims, religious orders and universities—each of these found that angels could be a vital part of their lives. A wealth of different circumstances and agendas combined to help Christians perceive the pervasive ministries of the angels. This study, an attempt to formulate a Summa Angelologiae, began with the question of how angels came to permeate the medieval world. It remains now to summarize the reasons why these spirits became a cornerstone of medieval Christianity. The angels of the Bible, as mediated through the Fathers, formed the basis for the medieval world's obsession with angels. The wealth of disparate narratives involving angels led men and women of all sorts to expect their own interactions with these spirits. Different groups of Christians would locate precedents for their own particular devotional practices in Scripture itself—or in physical representations of biblical stories in stone, glass, and drama. Moreover, the fourfold exegetical scheme and the Glossa Ordinaria trained clerics to see angels in all four levels of Scripture. The anagogical and literal senses in particular taught exegetes to see angels figuratively in words such as "stars" as well as to see them invisibly in the world around. Gregory the Great and Pseudo-Dionysius affirmed that the angels exist in nine distinct orders, and that the names of each of these orders signified their proper nature and function. Reading the Areopagite's Celestial Hierarchy clarified the understanding of beings whose titles of seraphim, cherubim, archangels, and angels were invoked in the Mass. To both clerics and laypeople, Scripture revealed that because of their sublime nature, angels are both fully engaged in temporal events and fully detached from them. Angels are historical and ubiquitous; they delivered the law and they appear throughout history, even inaugurating new religious practices and legitimating revolutionary movements. At the same time these spirits are ahistorical and absent; they are aeviternal beings dwelling in heaven who enjoy ordered hierarchical stability and beatific peace. Medieval Christians could appeal to either aspect of these beings as their own devotional or institutional needs required. 209



The angels appearing to the patriarchs in the biblical narratives received subsequent elaboration in the cathedral schools and universities. When the thirteenthcentury scholastics pursued their formal theological studies, they syncretically combined the thought of Aristotle, his Arabian commentators, Augustine, Peter Lombard, Alexander of Hales, and others, and formulated a detailed understanding of the metaphysics and nature of the sublime celestial beings. In their eagerness to explore the natural world and establish their professional academic credentials, the schoolmen deduced that angels were composed either of form and matter or were pure forms and that angels do occupy physical space (which can be very small but not a mathematical point). They even discovered how it was possible that beings without sensory organs could know both particular creatures (such as Socrates) and universals (such as humanity). Thanks to Aristotelian logical methods and metaphysics, the scholastics developed in their Commentary on the Sentences a scientific angelology far more complex than the angelologies known to the Fathers or to Bernard of Clairvaux. But because exploring the intricacies of angelic nature could involve heterodox doctrines, the Condemnations of 1277 censured some angelological teachings, and in the Middle Ages, academic angelology was both instituted as a formal professional requirement and condemned for its own excesses. The devoted study of monastic predecessors and the composition of saints' lives such as the Legenda Maior brought the religious face to face with men and women who had loved and enjoyed the presence of angels. In the angels above, the monks below discovered models of obedience, chastity, and love. Because of a singular encounter between their founder and a crucified seraph and because of a particular prophetic interpretation of Scripture, the Franciscans' passion for angelology led ultimately to identifying Francis and his followers in terms of the angels of the Apocalypse. Although the papacy condemned some Franciscans for their heretical interpretations, the acceptance of Francis as the angel bearing the seal of the living God was central to the Franciscan understanding of their order and of history itself. As with academic angelology, the typological reading of Francis as an apocalyptic angel admitted both orthodox and heretical applications. The church calendar also brought the angels regularly to a Christian's mind. Each September 29, clerics and laypeople celebrated the feast of the archange Michael. Sermons were given and heard, pilgrimages undertaken, and prayers offered. These events annually focused attention on the multiple ways in which the angels minister to humans as well as the ways in which they serve as models for humans on earth and in heaven. Fear of eternal punishment, the desire for supernatural protection, the hope of being with the angels—such motives drove men and women to angelic devotional practices not just on September 29 but also throughout the entire year. Because of the rich angelological traditions inherited from the Fathers, medieval Christians also inherited many links between sacraments, rituals, ceremonies, and angels. From the reception of the guardian angel at birth to the presence of angels at death and in funerary monuments, angels permeated the life of the church. In addition to these formal occasions, the medieval church provided many other opportunities for contemplating the heavenly hosts and expecting their



presence. The rich iconographic traditions of angels had led sculptors, painters, and glassworkers to decorate churches and cathedrals with archangels, seraphs, and cherubs. They provided medieval Christians with concrete images of intangible beings; they anchored the cognitive, imaginative, and emotional grasp of these mysterious creatures in the sensible world. Medieval art provided a focus for the imagination, and the presence of the angels in stone spandrels and illuminated manuscripts provided a constant reminder of the ubiquity of God's messengers. The incense, music, and bread of the Mass likewise made the angels tangible to the senses as the heavenly and terrestrial citizens of God worshipped together. Each of these disparate elements and traditions of the medieval church—the scriptural, theological, sacramental, architectural, ecclesiastical, and devotional— had evolved and matured, and by the thirteenth century they combined to form a rich, complex angelology. Some of these influences (the tradition of angelic visions and the expectation of regular interaction between angels and humans) were quite ancient, having their origins in the Old Testament, pagan practices, and the early church. Others, such as the professional study of angelic metaphysics, had only recently become a part of the medieval angelological heritage. Some of these traditions were influential only for theologians, and some were important only for monastics. (And for some people, it should not be forgotten, angels were hardly relevant at all.) Still, in one man in thirteenth-century Christendom these legacies were combined, and through his presence as a heuristic figure this study has provided a synthesis of angels and angelology in the Middle Ages. Bonaventure was driven by many things—his angelological zeal, his professional training, a series of academic and Franciscan crises, his sense of responsibility as a preacher, the pervasive influence of Alexander of Hales and Francis, and his own mystical inclinations. His angelology combined both theological doctrine and religious praxis, but ultimately, angelology became for him an acquired, near-unconscious set of assumptions about himself, the world, and God. Beliefs, practices, and hopes about the spirits of heaven were such a part of his professional and spiritual life that the angels interacted with him in a myriad of ways. He contemplated the angels from a purely cognitive, prepositional perspective. He participated in rituals, ceremonies, and practices that joined him with the angels. He employed reflections on the angels as part of his administration of the Franciscan order. He even was visited by an angel. Bonaventure's life and work thus brought together many of the disparate threads of the great medieval angelic tapestry. Just as a person might acquire the habit of praying a certain way by following a monastic rule, so too did the medieval church as a whole acquire through theology, exegesis, institutional requirements, and its sacramental life a habit of angelology. There is a sense in both writings and practices that for many Christians thinking about angels and expecting their presence became inextricable from daily life. Contemplating the angels did not require a formal occasion such as the Commentary on the Sentences or the Feast of Saint Michael. Rather, angelology was more than a set of doctrines and practices discussed in particular places and times. It was—especially for some—one of the fundamental elements of living, dying, loving, and hoping. It is in this sense that the importance of angels



for the Middle Ages can be seen most clearly. Angelology had become habitual and unavoidable. Much work remains to be done in the underdeveloped field of medieval angelology. The narratives, practices, and doctrines presented in this study need further evaluation, perhaps by passing them through the theories and methods of different historiographical schools. I have suggested in certain places what the results of such work might be, but on the whole this study has tried to let the medieval church speak for itself. Its disparate records indicate that angelology needs to be seen as whole, within an interdisciplinary framework. Men and women brought their experience of the liturgy to their theological schools, their memories of stonework to their prayers, their ideas of angelic hierarchies to their politics, and their understanding of angelic ministries to the confessional. As further research is undertaken in the history of medieval Christendom, perhaps we would do well to remember what the Seraphic Doctor observed near the end of his life. "[A]s useless as all the stars are to the blind, so too are the angels and the illuminations they send useless to those who do not appreciate their presence."1 This study has tried to illuminate these creatures and enable the reader to appreciate the ubiquitous presence of angels in the medieval church.



AHDLMA Archives d'histoire doctrinale et litteraire du moyen age (Paris, 1926 ff ) ALKG Archiv fiir LiteratW' und Kirchengeschichte des Mittelalters (Berlin, 1885ff ) ANF Ante-Nicene Fathers (Grand Rapids, Mich., 1981) CCSL Corpus Christianorum Series Latina, (Turnhout, 1953ff) CUP Chartularium Universitatis Parisiensis NCE New Catholic Encyclopedia (New York, 1967) NPNF Nicene and Post'Nicene Fathers (Grand Rapids, Mich., 1983) PL Patrologia Latina (Paris, 1844-64) RNSP Revue neo'scholastique de philosophie (Louvain, Belgium, 1910-45) ST Aquinas, St. Thomas, Summa Theologiae Bonaventure's writings are listed by full title or by the following abbreviations: Hexaemeron Itinerarium Opera Sermons 2 Sent,

Collationes in Hexaemeron Itinerarium Mentis ad Deum Opera Omnia Sermons on Angels (as collated by the editors of the Opera Omnia) Commentary on the Sentences, Book II

The translations I cite for all of Bonaventure's texts except for the Legenda Maior are the translations by Jose de Vinck in The Works of Bonaventure. References to the translation of the Legenda Maior are to the translation by Ewert Cousins. Translations from the Vulgate are my own; all other translations of biblical passages are from the Revised Standard Version as printed in The New Oxford Annotated Bible (New York: Oxford University Press, 1977). I have followed common practices regarding Latin and English titles and textual references (e.g., references to the Patrologia Latina are to volume and column number). Because each of the four parts of the text constitute a whole, I have provided bibliographic information in the notes the first time a text appears in each of the parts, not the first time it appears in each chapter. 213





1. Bibiliographical information for each of the texts discussed in the Introduction appears in the Bibliography. 2. These papers were delivered at the May 1994 meeting of the International Congress on Medieval Studies at Kalamazoo. 3. This painting is reproduced as the frontispiece to vol. 2 of J. G. Bougerol, ed., S. Bonaventura 1274-1974, 4 vols. (Rome, 1973). PART I i. See, for example, Aquinas, ST, 1.50.3 and Bonaventure, Sermons, Opera, IX, p. 6i9b. CHAPTER I

1. For the "restoration," see Bonaventure, Breviloquium, Prologue, 6 (trans., p. 19). For the chant, see PL 155, 1292. 2. Isidore of Seville, Etymologiae, PL 82, 272-74. For Honorius of Autun, see PL 172, 11 77-943. On the history of medieval exegesis, see Beryl Smalley, The Study of the Bible in the Middle Ages (New York, 1952); The Cambridge History of the Bible, vol. 2 (Cambridge, 1969); and Hans Frei, The Eclipse of Biblical Narrative (New Haven, 1984). For Bonaventure's exegetical training, see Thomas Reist's Saint Bonaventure as a Biblical Commentator (New York, 1985). 4. Salimbene de Adam, ed. G. Scalia, Cronica (Bari, 1966), p. 134. 5. For an extensive compilation of patristic and early medieval considerations of the subject, see the "Index de Angelis" in PL 219, 37-39. 6. John Beleth, Summa de Ecclesiasticis Officiis, CCSL, cent, med., 4iA, p.p. 89 and 259-60. 7. Augustine, City of God, 11.9 (trans., p. 352). See also ANF IV, p. 241 for Origen's remarks about the uncertainties surrounding the creation of the angels. 8. See J. W. Trigg, Origen: The Bible and Philosophy in the Third-Century Church (Atlanta, 1983), p. 104. 9. See Singer, "The Scientific Views and Visions of Saint Hildegard (1098-1180)," in Charles Singer, ed., Studies in the History and Method of Science (London, 1917), plate XXII, "The Days of Creation and the Fall of Man." 10. For lengthier treatments of the material in this paragraph see J. D. Collins, The Thomistic Philosophy of the Angels (Washington, 1947), p.p. tyft and 329ff and J. N. D. Kelly, Early Christian Doctrines (New York, 1978), pp. 20-28. 11. ANF I, p. 361. 12. Jaroslav Pelikan, The Christian Tradition: A History of the Development of Doctrine, 5 vols. (Chicago, 1971-90) vol. i, The Emergence of the Catholic Tradition (100-600), p. 134. 13. Valerie I. J. Flint, The Rise of Magic in Early Medieval Europe (Princeton, 1991), esp. pp. I57-7214. For Bernard, see On Consideration, 5.4.7 15. Marcia L. Colish, Peter Lombard (Leiden, 1994), vol. i, pp. 303-53, and "Early Scholastic Angelology," Recherches de Theologie ancienne et medievale 62 (1995), pp. 80-109. For a discussion of Hugh's and William's explorations of these matters see Hugh of Saint Victor, trans, by Jerome Taylor, The Didascalicon (New York, 1961), p. 14, 170 n.i27, and 227 n.3.

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16. 2 Sent., d. i, p. i, a. 2, q. 2, conc. (Opera, II, p. 29). 17. Giles of Rome, Errores Philosophorum, 6. 6-7 and 8.2 and 4-5. 18. Breviloquium, 2.5.8-9 (trans., p.p. 84-85). 19. Aquinas, ST, i (trans., p. 315). 20. For Aquinas's historical understanding of the doctrine of universal matter, see Collins, Thomistic, pp. 50-54. 21. See, for example, Bonaventure, 2 Sent., d. 4, a. i, q. 2 (Opera, II, pp. 132—34) and Aquinas ST, 1.50,3 and 1.61.3. 22. Pelikan, Tradition, vol. i, p. 197. 23. Augustine, City of God, 12.24. 24. On Claremhald, see Colish, "Early," p. 82. Bonaventure, 2 Sent., d. i, p. i, dub. 2 (Opera, II, p. 37). 25. Giles, Errores, 6.6-9. 26. Peter Lombard, Sentences, II, d. 7, c. 8. For Augustine, see On the Trinity, 3.8.13. 27. 2 Sent., d. 7, p. 2, a. 2, q. i (Opera, II, p. 196—99) and 2 Sent., d. 7, p. 2 dub. 3 (Opera II, pp. 206-7). 28. See Peter Raedts, Richard Rufus of Cornwall and the Tradition of Oxford Theology (Oxford, 1987), pp. 165-67. 29. On Lombard, see Colish, Lombard, p. 341. For a discussion of the request by the minister general and the replies of Aquinas, Albertus, and Kilwardby, see James A. Weisheipl, "The Celestial Movers in Medieval Physics," The Thomist 24, no. 2-4 (1961), pp. 286-326. 30. On IV Lateran and the Cathars, see Paul M. Quay, "Angels and Demons: The Teaching of IV Lateran," Theological Studies 42, no. i (1981), pp. 20-45. For the text of Constitution i of IV Lateran, see Norman P. Tanner, S.J., ed. Decrees of the Ecumenical Councils (Washington, DC, 1990), 2 vols with continuous pagination, p. 230. 31. Bonaventure's discussions of these subjects begins on 2 Sent., d. 2, p. i (Opera, II, p. 68). For Aquinas, see ST, 1.61—63. For a more thorough discussion of the scholastic treatment of these subjects, see Collins, Thomistic, and the angelological chapters of the works by Etienne Gilson on the philosophies of Bonaventure and Aquinas listed in the bibliography. For the twelfth century, see the works already cited by Marcia L. Colish. 32. Augustine, City of God, 11.32. See also Aquinas, ST, 1.61.2. 33. 2 Sent., d. 2, p. i, a. i, q. 3 (Opera, II, pp. 62-63). On the idea of aeviternity and a comparison of the views of Aquinas, Alexander of Hales (Bonaventure's mentor), and Bonaventure, see Collins, Thomistic, pp. 346-61. 34. 2 Sent., d. 3, p. 2, a. i, q. i, cone, and a. 2, q. i, cone. (Opera, II, p. 113 and 116). For the bishop's condemnation, see the scholion to the second of the two sections cited in this note (Opera II, p. 117). 35. For patristic readings of this passage, see, for example, Tertullian's De cultufeminae, 1.2.1—4 and 1.4.1 and the other sources indicated in NCE, "Angels," (p. 51oa). For Augustine, see Enchiridion, 28 and City of God, 15.22. On demonic intercourse, see Jeffrey Burton Russell, Witchcraft in the Middle Ages (Ithaca, 1972), p. 115. 36. Bonaventure's discussions of the fall and confirmation of the angels occur in 2 Sent., d. 3, p. 2, a. i, q. 2; d. 5, a. i, q. 1-3; d. 5, a. 3, q. i; d. 6, a. 2, q. i; d. 7, p. i, a. i, q. i; and d. 7, p. i, a. 2, q. i. See also Breviloquium, 2.7-8 and 2 Sent., d. 9, a. i, q. 9, cone. (Opera, II, p. 257). 37. The topics in this paragraph are explored at length in the works by Marcia L. Colish already cited. On Aelfric, see Jeffrey Burton Russell, Lucifer: The Devil in the Middle Ages (Ithaca, 1984), pp. 151iff. 38. Aquinas, ST, 1.63.7. See also Russell, Lucifer, pp. 94-5 and 172-3. For Gregory, see



Brian Tierney, The Crisis of Church and State, 1050-1300 (Englewood Cliffs, N.J., 1964), p. 72. 39. Gregory the Great, Dialogues 3.14 and Hugh of Saint Victor, PL 177, 1169-77. 40. On the importance of the confirmation of the good angels, see Jaroslav Pelikan, Tradition, vol. 3, p. 297. 41. Compare Bonaventure, 2 Sent., d. 4, a. i, q. 2, cone. (Opera, II, p.134) and Aquinas, ST, 1.62.3. See also Pelikan, Tradition, vol. i, p. 299 and vol. 3, pp. 296-97. 42. See John Freccero, "Dante's 'per se' Angel: the Middle Ground in Nature and Grace," Studi danteschi, 39 (1962), pp. 5-38 as well as his Dante: The Poetics of Conversion (Cambrige, 1986), pp. 110-18. 43. See, for example, Augustine, City of God, 22.1; Boethius, De Fide Catholica; Bonaventure, 2 Sent., d. 9, a. i, q. 6 cone. (Opera, II, p. 250); and Aquinas, ST, 1.108.8. 44. Legenda Maior, 6.6. 45. Anselm, Cur Deus Homo, 1.16—18 and Bonaventure, Opera IX, p. 369. CHAPTER 2

1. Richard of St. Victor, The Mystical Ark, 4.10-12. For Salimbene, see, for example, Cronica, pp. 856 and 910. For Elisabeth, see Ann L. Clark, Elisabeth of Schonau: A Twelfth' Century Visionary (Philadelphia, 1992), p. 82 and PL 195, 141. 2. For Radulph, see PL 155, 1459. For Bonaventure, see 2 Sent., d. 10, a. I, q. I, cone. (Opera II, p. 260). 3. On Bonaventure's encounter with an angel, see Hexaemeron, 21.20, and for the story of Francis's encounter with the seraph, see chapters 6 and 7. 4. For fuller studies of angels in the art of this period, see Clara Erskine Clement (Waters), Angels in Art (Boston, 1898); Theodora Ward, Men and Angels (New York, 1969), pp. 80-140; Emile Male, trans, by Dora Nussey, The Gothic Image (New York, 1972); Andrew Martindale, Gothic Art (London, 1988); Alfons Rosenberg, Engel und Ddmonen: Gestaltutandel eines Urbildes (Munich: Kosel, 1967); and Jeanne Villette, L'Ange dans L'art d'Occident du xiieme au xvieme siecle (Paris, 1940). The plates in these works will reveal many depictions of angels in stone, wood, and glass that illustrate this summary. 5. For Pseudo-Dionysius, see Celestial Hierarchy, 2.2-3 and 4.2-3, and for other patristic sources, see the references given in the NCE, "Angels," p. 509. 6. 2 Sent., d. 8, p. i, a. 1—3 (Opera, II, pp. 209—24). For Aquinas, see ST, 1.51.1—3. 7. Boccaccio, Decameron, 4th day, 2nd story. 8. Compare the angels in the Sermons, for example with the angels in the Commentary on the Sentences. 9. Breviloquium, 2.6 (trans., p. 86). For Hugh's discussion of the personhood of the angels, see De Sacramentis, 1.5.8. 10. See, for example, Soliloquy, 1.3 and 4.12. 11. For a discussion of Aquinas's interpretation of this passage, see chapter 3 p. 49. Bonaventure echoes this view in his Commentary on the Sentences (2 Sent., d. 11, a. 2, q. 3, cone, and ad. 3 (Opera, II, p. 288). 12. Hexaemeron 17.19 (trans., p. 262). 13. See Giles, Errores, 1.14, 6.15, 8.5. For Bonaventure, see 2 Sent., d. 18, a. 2, q. i, ad 6 (Opera, II, pp. 447—48) and Sermons, Opera IX, p. 624. For Aquinas, ST, 1.50.3. For Hugh of St. Victor, see his Commentary on the Celestial Hierarchy of St. Dionysius, PL 175, 1129-32 and De Sacramentis 1.5.31—3. For Pseudo-Dionysius, sec Celestial Hierarchy, 14. 14. See G. F. Moore, "Christian Writers on Judaism," Harvard Theological Review 14, no. 3 (1921), p. 198.

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15. Justin Martyr, Dialogue with Trypho, chap. 55 (ANF I, p. 223). For Tertullian, see ANF III, pp. 328-29. 16. For examples of reading the Angel of the Lord as Christ, see Augustine, On the Psalms, Psalm 34:7 (NPNF VIII, p. 75) and Novation (martyred 257-58), ANF V, p. 627f For Peter the Venerable, see his Adversus ludeorum Inveteratam Duritiem, CCSL, cont. med. 58, pp. 5, 8-11, and 18-19. 17. Hexaemeron, 2.16 (trans., p. 30). See also, Augustine, City of God, 16.29. 18. This topic engaged the minds of the Fathers. See Jean Danielou, trans, hy David Heimann, Angels and their Mission (Westminster, MD, 195 7), pp. 3—13. For more detailed discussions of patristic interpretations of the subjects in the rest of this chapter consult this work as well as Eric Peterson, trans, by Ronald Walls, The Angels and the Liturgy (New York, 1964). 19. See Hexaemeron, 3.11, 9.11, 9.19, and 15.11. 20. Bonaventure. Sermons, Opera, IX, p. 612. On the "angelic hymn" see Bernold of Constance's Microiogus, PL 151, 984. For Elisabeth, see PL 195, 152. For a discussion of the roles of angels in the Eastern church, see Otfried Hofius, "Gemeinschaft mit den Engeln im Gottesdienst der Kirche," Zeitschrift fur Theologie und Kirche 89 (1992), pp. 172-96. 21. For a comparison between the differences between the named and unnamed angels, see Clement (Waters), Art, p. 47 and 132. 22. Pseudo-Dionysius, Celestial Hierarchy 9.3 (trans., p. 171). 23. Walter Wink, Unmasking the Powers (Philadelphia, 1986), p. 197 n. 20. 24. Sicard of Cremona, Mitrale, 9.45, PL 213, 422. Actus beati Francisd et sociorum ejus, ed. Paul Sabatier (Paris, 1902), chap. 3, pp. 11-16. Bernard of Clairvaux, Sermons on the Song of Songs, 19.2.2—3. 25. Karl Rahner, "Angels," in Rahner, ed., Encyclopedia of Theology (New York, 1982), p. 6. 26. Pelikan, Tradition vol., i, pp., 140, 183, and 197-98. On the Spanish Adoptionists see Tradition, vol. 3, pp. 62-63. 27. For the Cathars, see Walter L. Wakefield and Austin P. Evans, eds., Heresies of the High Middle Ages (New York, 1991). For examples of the use of the epithet, see Bonaventure, On the Perfection of Life, 3.5 and Thomas a Kempis The Imitation of Christ, 4.1. 28. Jacobus de Voragine, Legenda Aurea (Leipzig, 1850), chap. 14, "The Epiphany of the Lord". 29. Bonaventure, Soliloquy, 4.26. 30. See, for example, Bonaventure, The Tree of Life, 1.3-4. 31. Male, Gothic, pp. 256-57. 32. PL 210, 73. 33. Breviloquium, 4.3, (trans., p. 150). Again, note that the idea of congruity appears as an essential ingredient to the medieval mind. The idea of congruity fits rather neatly with its companion idea, hierarchy. 34. For the patristic reading of the angelic confusion, see Danielou, Angeis, p. 38f. For Bonaventure, see Opera, IX, p. 274b. For Aquinas, see ST, 1.57.5. For Hugh of Saint Victor, who is commenting on Pseudo-Dionysius, see PL 155, 1058—59. 35. Jacobus, Legenda, chaps. 13, "The Circumcision of the Lord"; 6, "The Birth of Our Lord Jesus Christ According to the Flesh"; and 54, "The Resurrection of the Lord." On William of Auxerre, see Colish, "Early," p. 104. 36. See, for example, the depiction of the marriage of Cana in the Queen Mary Psalter (ca. 1310) in Martindale, Gothic, p137, fig., 102. 37. On the links between the sacred and the profane, see Pelikan, Tradition, vol. 1, p. 133. For this account of the conversion of Constantine, see Jacobus, Legenda, chap. 68, "The Finding of the Holy Cross."





38. See, for example, Dialogues, 1.4, 1.12, 4.5, 4.20, 4.36, and 4.60. 39. PL 172, 1182. 40. Hexaemeron, 22.2 (trans., p. 342); Hexaemeron, 21.16 (trans., p. 328); Sermons, Opera, IX, pp. 6i3b. See also pp. 621b, 626b, and 627b. 41. Tierney, Crisis, pp. 68, 66. Marsilius of Padua, Defensor Pads, 2.3.8. 42. Tierney, Crisis, pp. 60, 77. 43. On Consideration, 1.6.7. 44. See, for example, Bonaventure, Breviloquium, 7.7 and Soliloquy, 4.20. 45. The Song of Roland, stanza 176. For examples of Bonaventure's use of the Lazarus story, see Sermons, Opera, IX, pp. 618a, 619b, 620a, and 630b. For a treatment of the subject in Gothic art as a whole, see Male, Gothic, pp. 2, 376, 382, and 384. 46. See ]. Alexander, The Age of Chivalry ( London, 1987) p-388 for William's eschatological self-portrait. 47. On this point, see Moore, "Christian Writers," p. 247. 48. See Daniel F. Callahan, "The Cult of St. Michael and the 'Terrors of the Year looo'" (unpublished manuscript, 1991). 49. Andre Wilmart, Auteurs spirituel et textes devotes du moyen age latin (Paris, 1971), p. 212. CHAPTER 3 1. PL 177, 1169-77. 2. See, for example, Bonaventure, Hexaemeron, 21.19. 3. Gregory the Great, dedicatory preface to his Moralia on Job, PL 75, 509-16. 4. Breviloquium, Prologue, 4.1 (trans., p. 14). 5. ST, 6. For brief treatments of the history of the fourfold scheme, see Steven Ozment, The Age of Reform (New Haven, 1980), pp. 63-68. For a more complete study of medieval exegetical practices, see James S. Preus, From Shadow to Promise (Cambridge, Mass., 1969), pp. 9-149 and Henri de Lubac, Exegese medievale: les quatres sens de I'ecriture, 4 vols. (Paris, 1959-1964). 7. William Durandus (1230-96), Rationale divinorum officorum, Prologue, 12, as translated in Male, Gothic, p. 139. 8. 2 Sent., d. 9, a. 2, q. i, ad opp. i (Opera, II, p. 282). 9. PL 219, 145-6. 10. Aquinas, ST, 1.113.7, ad i (trans., pp. 580-81). 11. PL 219, 145—46. 12. On the "Dionysius-renaissance," see Joseph Ratzinger, trans, by Zachary Hayes, O.F.M., The Theology of History in St. Bonaventure (Chicago, 1971), p. 87. 13. For Bonaventure's debt to the Areopagite, see De Reductions artium, 5. For his readings of Genesis and Ezekiel, see Hexaemeron, 2.16 (trans., pp. 29-30) and 13.19 (trans., p. 194). Bonaventure's Sermons on Angels draw heavily on anagogy. See, for example, Opera, IX, pp. 613b, 614b, 621a, 622a, and 630a. For the shields as angels, see Opera, IX, 689a. 14. See, for example, Hexaemeron 13.2 and 15.12. See also Reist, Bonaventure, p. 36. 15. Celestial Hierarchy, 15.3. 16. Smalley, Study, pp. 281 and 372-73. 17. Aquinas, ST, 1.61.1 and Bonaventure, De Reductione artium ad theologiam, 7. 18. Hexaemeron, 2.16. 19. Sermons, Opera, IX, 6i6b.

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20. Male, Gothic, p. 105 and Radulph Ardens, Homiliae de Tempore, 38, PL 155, 1456-59' 21. Opera, IX, p. 521b, Jacobus, Legenda, chap. 86, "The Birth of Saint John the Baptist," and Geoffrey's homily on Daniel 7 in PL 174, 1119—20. 22. ST, 1.1.10. ad 3 (trans., Blackfriars, p. 41). 23. Pseudo-Dionysius, Celestial Hierarchy 15. 24. Sermons, Opera, IX, p. 624)3. 25. Legenda Maior, Prologue. 26. Salimbene, Cranica, pp. 419-20 and 856. Actus, chaps, 1 and 50, pp. 3 and 151. 27. Sermons, Opera, IX, p. 609a and 614b. On Abraham and acedia, see Siegfried Wenzel, The Sin of Sloth: Acedia in Medieval Thought and Literature (Chapel Hill, 1967), p. 103. 28. M.-D. Chenu, Nature Man and Society in the Twelfth Century (Chicago, 1968), p. 82. 29. For the soul's hierarchical return to God, see ltinerarium 4.4. On Francis, see Legenda Maior, Prologue. For an example of matching hierarchies, see, for example, Honorius of Autun, Liber Duodecim Quaestionum, q.q. 6-8, PL 172, 1181-82. For addresses to popes, see, for example, the surviving notes to a sermon he delivered to Pope Clement IV and his cardinals in Opera, IX, pp. 86—87. Note, too, that Bernard addressed his On Consideration, which contains some of his most important reflections on the angels and the church, to Pope Eugene III. 30. Matthew M. De Benedictis, The Social Thought of Saint Bonaventure (Westport, CT, 1972) p. 124. De Benedictis here offers what seems to be a good translation of the meaning of Bonaventure's own definition: "hierarchia est rerum sacrarum et rationabilium ordinata potestas, in subditis debitum retinens principatum." II Sent., d. 9, praenotata, (Opera, II, p. 238). C.f. Aquinas, ST, 1.108.1. 31. See, for example, 2 Sent., d. 9, praenotata, and the entire Twenty-first Collation of the Coliationes in Hexaemeron. For Aquinas, see ST, 1.108.1. 32. For Cyril, see NPNF VII, 154. For discussions of these creatures in medieaval liturgical commentaries see, for example, Rupert of Deutz, De Divinis Officiis, 2.4, PL 170, 37 and Sicard of Cremona, Mitrale, 3.6, PL 213, 122—33. For Bonaventure, see Hexaemeron, 20.3 (trans., p. 300). 33. ANF I, p. 68. 34. PL 219, 39-40. 35. Augustine, Enchiridion, chap. 58, (trans., ANF III, p. 256). 36. Gregory the Great, XL Hom, in Evang., 2.34.6. 37. Glossa Ordinaria, Luke 15:8, PL 113, 311. For Bonaventure, see a sermon delivered on a third Sunday after Pentecost in Opera IX, p. 3693. For Abelard, Sic et Non, Quaest. 49. 38. Bernard, On Consideration, 5.4.8. 39. On this renewed study, see Chenu, Nature, pp. 80-88 and 123-28. For a brief survey of the history of Pseudo-Dionysius's transmission and acceptance in the West, from which this discussion is drawn, see Jaroslav Pelikan, "The Odyssey of Dionysian Spirituality," Jean Leclerq, "Influence and noninfluence of Dionysius in the Western Middle Ages," and Karlfried Froehlich, "Pseudo-Dionysius and the Reformation of the Sixteenth Century," all in Pseudo-Dionysius: The Complete Works (New York, 1987). The classic study of the thirteenth-century materials is in H. F. Dondaine, "Le corpus dionysien de 1'universite de Paris au XHIe siecle," Storia e Letteratura, 44 (Rome, 1953). 40. Jacobus de Voragine, Legenda Aurea, chap. 153, 'Saints Dionysius, Rusticus, and Eleutherius." 41. Salimbene, Cronica, pp. 53-54. 42. For each source save Augustine, see Gustav Davidson, A Dictionary of Angels (New York, 1967), p. 336. On Augustine, Enchiridion, 58.


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43. 2 Sent., d. IX, praenotata, (Opera II, p. 237). 44. Aquinas, ST, 1.108.1, 2, and 5. 45. See 2 Sent., d. 9, a. i, q. 4 (Opera II, p. 249). 46. Pseudo-Dionysius, Celestial Hierarchy, 6. 47. For Bernard, see On Consideration, 5.7-8, for the Instructio, see PL 184, 785-86, and for Caesarius, see Dialogus Miraculorum, 8.41. For the speculation on Bernard's knowledge of the Areopagite, see Edmond Boissard, "La Doctrine des Anges chez S. Bernard" in S. Bernard, Theologien (Rome, 1953), pp. 114-35. 48. Alexander Murray, Reason and Society in the Middle Ages (Oxford, 1990), pp. 266-7. 49. 2 Sent., d. 9, praenotata, (Opera II, p. 241). Aquinas's discussion of the hierarchies occurs primarily in ST, 1.108. 50. For an example of a discussion of the differences between Gregory and the Areopagite, see Jacobus, Legenda, chap. 145, "Michael." Dante, Paradise, XXVIII, lines 134-35, trans, by John D. Sinclair (New York, 1976), p. 409. 51. For the Areopagite's system of angelic hierarchies, see Celestial Hierarchy, chaps. 6-9. 52. Bernard, On Consideration, 5.4.8. 53. 2 Sent., d. 9, praenotata (Opera, II, p. 241). 54. Hugh, PL 175, 1043-44; Aquinas, ST, 1.108.5 ad 5; for Brother Philip, see Actus, chap, 1, p. 3; for Geoffrey, see Homiliae in Scripturam, 1 3 , P 1 7 4 , 1115; and for Bernard, see On Consideration, 5.4.8-10. 55. See Jerome, Letters, 18, 61, and 84 (NPNF VI, pp. 22, 131-32, and 176). 56. Thomas of Celano, one of the authors Bonaventure used when he wrote his own biography of Francis, also speculated on the meaning of the six wings of the Seraphim. See Celano's First Life, in M. Habig, ed., St. Francis of Assisi: Writings and Early Biographies: English Omnibus of the Sources of the Life of St. Francis (Chicago, 1983), pp. 328-9. 57. For his use of the seraphic cry, see, for example, On the Government of the Soul, 2 (which was addressed to St. Louis's daughter, Blanche), and Hexaemeron, 2.5, 8.7-19, and 21.24. For a Christological reading of the six wings, see the discussion earlier in this chapter. For his mystical reading of the wings, see Itinerarium, 2.11 (trans., p. 26). 58. Bonaventure, 2 Sent., d. 10, a. i, q. 2 (Opera, II, 261-62) and Hugh, Commentary, PL 175, 1111—30. 59. They appear in Gn 3:24; Ex 25:18-22, 37:6-9; Nm 7:89; i Sm 4:4; 1 Kgs 6:23-28, 8:6-7; Pss 18:10, 80:1, 99:1; Is 37:16; and Ez 10:3-22. 60. Bonaventure, Itinerarium, 5.1 and Bernard, Sermons on the Song of Songs, 19.2.5. 61. Steven Chase's Angelic Wisdom: The Cherubim and the Grace of Contemplation in Richard of St. Victor ( Notre Dame, 1995) considers Richard's work in detail. For a discussion of a reliquary in the form of the Ark and its role in the life of a particular religious community, see David F. Appleby, "Rudolf, Abbot Hrabanus and the Ark of the Covenant Reliquary," The American Benedictine Review 46, no. 4 (Dec., 1995), pp. 419-43. 62. See, for example, Bonaventure, Brevilocjuium, 2.8 and Aquinas, ST, 1.108.5. 63. Paul refers to these creatures in Rom 8:38; Eph 1:21, 3:10; and Col 1:16, 2:10. I Peter 3:22 also refers to virtues and powers. 64. Bonaventure 2 Sent., d. 9, praenotata (Opera, II, p. 240) and Bernard, On Consideration, 5.4.8. See also Bonaventure, Sermons, Opera, IX, p. 610. 65. Brevilocjuium, 2.8 (Opera V, p. 226). 66. "per 'percussionem superbi' tangit Potestates," Sermons, Opera, IX, p. 611. For other examples of Bonaventure's use of tango in his sermons on the angels, see pp. 613 and 622. 67. Aquinas, ST, 1.108.5.

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68. See, for example, Breviloquium, 2.8. See also 2 Sent., d. 9, praenotata (Opera, II, p. 241) and Sermons, Opera, IX, p. 612. 69. For Aquinas, see Summa contra Gentiles, 3.80. For Bernard, see On Consideration, 5.4.8. 70. Commentarms in Evangelium S. Lucae, 8.88 (Opera, VII, p. 213). 71. C.f. Bonaventure, Breviloquium, 2.8. 72. C.f. Bonaventure, Sermons, Opera, IX, p. 625. For a discussion of the limiting of angelic names by the church, see chapter 8 of this study. 73. Sermons, Opera, IX, pp. 625—26. 74. "et per eos [Angelos] in nobis, quantum [fieri] potest." Sermons, Opera, IX, p. 627. 75. Sermons, Opera, IX, p. 625. See also John Beleth, Summa de Ecdesiastids Officiis, ch. 154 and Sicard of Cremona MitraJe, 9.45, PL 213, 422. 76. Hexaemeron, 21.20 (trans., p. 332). 77. Ibid., 20.3 (trans., p. 300) and Hexaemeron, 21.32. 78. On Consideration, 5.3.5-6. 79. Pamela Sheingorn, "The Te Deum Altarpiece and the Iconography of Praise" in Daniel Williams, ed., Early Tudor England: Proceedings of the Harlaxton Symposium (Woodbridge, 1989), pp. 171-82. For a discussion of the iconography of the nine orders, see Alfons Rosenberg, Engel undDamonen: Gestaltwandel eines Urbildes (Munich, 1967), pp. 137—41. 80. Sermons, Opera, IX, p. 625a. 81. Caesarius, Diaiogus Miracuiorum, 8.41; Abelard, Hymns, no. 82; and Ancrene Riwle, trans, by M. B. Salu (Notre Dame, 1956), p. 12. 82. See, for example, Jacobus, Legenda, chap. 86, "The Birth of Saint John the Baptist"; chap. 119, "The Assumption of the Virgin"; and chap. 145, "Michael." 83. On angels and late medieval piety, see Eamon Duffy, Tfve Stripping of the Altars: Traditional Religion in England, 1400-1580 (New Haven, 1992), pp. 158 and 269-72. 84. For the eleventh- and twelfth-century prayers see Wilmart, Auteurs, pp. 578 and 582. 85. On the specific roles of the virtues and powers in the Christian response to magic, see Flint, Rise, p. 162. For the roles of angels as a whole, see pp. 157-72. 86. Dante, Paradise, IX, lines 61—62 (trans., p. 135). Aquinas, "Responio ad Lectorem Venetum de Articulis XXXVI," a. 4, in R. A. Verardo, ed., Opuscuk Theologica (Turin, 1954), vol.1, p. 200. 87. Paul Heinze, Die Engel auf der mittelalterlichen Mysterienbiihne Frankreichs (Greifswald, 1905), pp. 12—13. 88. Murray, Reason, pp. 113-14. 89. Salimbene, Cronica, pp. 828-29. 90. See Georges Duby, The Three Orders (Chicago, 1978), pp. 110—19 and Giles Constable's "The Orders of Society" in his Three Studies in Medieval Religious and Social Thought (Cambridge, 1995). 91. Liber Duodecim Quaestionum, q. 6, PL 172, 1181-82. See also Carolyn Walker Bynum, Jesus as Mother: Studies in the Spirituality of the High Middle Ages (Berkeley, 1982), pp. 82-109. Alan of Lille, De Fide Catholica contra Haereticos, 2.4, PL 210, 382. Aquinas, ST, 1.108.7. 92. See Hugh of Saint Victor, Commentary on the Celestial Hierarchy of Saint Dionysius the Areopagite, PL 175, 1058-59; Bonaventure, Opera IX, p. 274b; Jacobus, Legenda, chap. 72, "The Ascension of the Lord"; Aquinas, ST 1.57.5. On the patristic reading of this passage, see Danielou, AngeLs, p. 38. 93. For the Crusaders' discovery of this rock, see Edward Peters, ed., The First Crusade, The Chronicle of Fulcher of Chartres and Other Source Materials (Philadelphia, 1971), p. 74.


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94. 2 Sent., d. 9, a. 1, q. 8, conc. (Opera II, p. 255). 95. For a discussion of God's beauty in the mind of the scholastics, see Jacques Marilam, trans., by Joseph W. Evans, Art and Scholasticism (Notre Dame, 1962), pp. 3off. See also Umberto Eco, trans., by Hugh Bredin, Art and Beauty in the Middle Ages (New Haven, 1986), chapter 2, "Transcendental Beauty," pp. 17—27. 96. See Bernard, Sermons on the Song of Songs, 19; Bonaventure, Sermons, Opera, IX, p. 6o9b-f; Glossa Ordinaria, PL 113, 159; Hugh of Saint Victor, PL 175, 1084. 97. Dialogues, 4.5. 98. Liber Duodecim Quaestionum, PL 172, 1179. PART II

1. For a survey of the patristic views on the nature of the angels, see Georges Tavard, Die Engel (Freiburg, 1968), pp. 35-49. 2. Augustine, Enchirdion, 59 (trans., NPNF III, p. 256). 3. See Tavard, Engei, pp. 50-65. 4. See her Peter Lombard (Leiden, 1994) 2 vols., vol. i, pp. 304—53 and her "Early Scholastic Angelology," Recherches de Theologie ancienne et medievale 62 (1995), pp. 80-109. This paragraph, except for its concluding transition to Bonaventure and the next generation of scholastics, summarizes her findings. The quotation concerning muted interest in angels is from "Early," p. 80. 5. See Jaroslav Pelikan, The Growth of Medieval Theology, 600-1300 (Chicago, 1978), vol 3 of The Christian Tradition, pp. 268-307, for a discussion of the many ways in which the thirteenth-century theology represents the culmination of twelfth-century transformations. 6. For a chronology of Bonaventure's life, see J. G. Bougerol, Introduction to the Works of Bonaventure (Patterson, N.J., 1964), pp. 171-77. See also Reist, St. Bonaventure as a Biblical Commentator (New York, 1985), pp. 1-13 for a good summary of Bonaventure's background and training. 7. The dubia of Bonaventure's Commentary on the Sentences contain this initial investigation of the angels by the Seraphic Doctor. 8. It seems that the scholastics never asked the question in the precise way in which Rabelais formulates the question. See Gedess MacGregor, Angels: Ministers of Grace (New York, 1988), chap. 2, n. 3. 9. Bonaventure, 2 Sent., d. 2, p. 2, a. 2 (Opera, II, pp. 75-84). CHAPTER 4 1. 2 Sent., d. 1, p. 2, a. 2, q. 2 through d. 11, a. 2, q. 3 (Opera, II, pp. 45-290). 2. Quoted in M.-D. Chenu, Towards Understanding Saint Thomas (Chicago, 1964), p. 90. For the statutes of Curzon, see CUP I, p. 78, no. 20. 3. David Knowles, The Evolution of Medieval Thought (London, 1988), p. 79. I have added "and religious" to his definition because his formulation does not do justice to the theological dimensions of scholasticism. 4. The subject of the conservative reactions to the rise of scholasticism has been wellexamined. I have drawn primarily from Stephen C. Ferruolo, The Origins of the University: The Schools of Paris and their Critics, 1100—1215 (Stanford, 1985); Lester Little, Religious Poverty and the Profit Economy (Ithaca, 1978), and M.-D. Chenu, Nature, Man, and Society in the Twelfth Century (Chicago, 1968). 5. 2 Sent., d. 2, p. i, a. i, q. i (Opera, II, pp. 55-57). 6. ST, 1.58.3.

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7. Bernard's most extensive sustained treatment of the angelic nature occurs in his book of advice to Pope Eugenius III, On Consideration, 5.3.5 through 5.5.12. For a discussion of Bernard's angelology, see Edmond Boissard, "La Doctrine des Anges chez S. Bernard" in Saint Bernard, Theologien (Rome, 1953), pp. 114-35. 8. Knowles, Evolution, p. 135. 9. Bernard, On Consideration, 5.4.7 (trans., p. 146). i o. The following discussion of monastic training comes primarily from Ferruolo, Origins, pp. 47-67; Jean Leclerq, The Love of Learning and the Desire for God (New York, 1982); and Pelikan, Tradition, vol. 3, pp. 129, 145-48, 266-67, and 298-301. 11. Benedict, The Rule of St. Benedict, chap. 1. 12. Little, Poverty, p. 67. 13. Bernard, On Consideration, 5.3.5-5.4.7. 14. For the passages in the Rule pertaining to these requirements and injunctions, see chaps. 68, 42, and 2. 15. Salimbene, ed, by G. Scalia, Cronica, 2 vols. with continuous pagination (Bari, 1966), p. 324. 16. See Pelikan, Tradition, vol. 3, p. 266. Bernard carefully distinguishes between faith, reason, and mere opinion in angelological matters in On Consideration, 5.3.5-5.4.7. 17. Compare Bernard's Sermons on the Song of Songs, 5.2.7 with Bonaventure's 2 Sent., d. 8, p. i, a. 2, q. i, conc., ratio prima (Opera, II, p. 215). 18. Ferruolo, Origins, pp. 51-52. 19. Chenu, Nature, p. 213. 20. For a study of Abelard's influence, see D. Luscombe, The School of Peter Abelard: The Influence of Abelard's Thought in the Early Scholastic Period (Cambridge, 1969). 21. See, for example, On Consideration, 5.4.7. 22. I borrow these terms from Lester Little (Poverty, p. 174). 23. On the masters as a new social category, see Chenu, Nature, p. 273. For this discussion of the relationship between the new schoolmen, their methods, and their origins in new society of medieval Europe, I have drawn primarily on this work by Chenu, Little's Poverty, and Alexander Murray's Reason and Society in the Middle Ages (Oxford, 1990). 24. I have taken these basic facts about Paris in the thirteenth century from John W. Baldwin's The Scholastic Culture of the Middle Ages, 1000-1300 (Lexington, MA, 1971), pp. 26-31. 25. Murray, Reason, p. 101. This discussion of ambition in the first half of the twelfth century summarizes the results of Murray's work, esp. chapters 4 and 9. 26. Although Bonaventure had to travel widely as minister general, he spent most of his career in and around Paris, engaging in disputations and giving sermons. See the chronology given in Bougerol, Introduction, pp. 171—77, for the number and length of Bonaventure's stays in Paris. 27. perspicacissiimts omnium (Abelard, Sic et Non, Prologue). 28. For more complete studies of the impact of the changing economy on European education, see Chenu, Nature; Murray, Reason; and Little, Poverty. 29. See Little, Poverty, pp. 61-69. 30. CUP I, p. 78, n. 20. 31. Aristotle, translated by W. A. Pickard, Topics, i.i in Richard McKeon, ed., The Basic Works of Aristotle (New York, 1941), p. 188. 32. On Consideration, 5.3.6 (trans., p. 145). 33. Chenu, Nature, p. 295. The year 1145 is the conventional date for Robert of Melun's Quaestiones de divina pagina. Chenu surveys the development of the quaestio in Nature, pp. 291—97 and Understanding, pp. 85—93. The patristic era had produced a tradition


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of quaestiones et responsiones, but this tradition was not of great importance for monastic training. 34. For Bonaventure, see Hexaemeron, 5.26-27 and 2 Sent., d. 14, p. i, a. 3, q. 2, cone. (Opera II, p. 349), and for Clement, see ANF II, p. 524. 35. See John Francis Quinn, The Historical Constitution of St. Bonaventure's Philosophy (Toronto, 1973), pp. 522-663, esp. pp. 618-19. 36. Bonaventure's assessment of the philosophers' knowledge of the angels is in the Collations. in Hexaemeron, 5.23-27. 37. 2 Sent., d. 18, a. 2, q. i ad 6 (Opera, II, pp. 447—48). 38. Ihid., d. i, p. 2, a. i, q. 2, fund., cone, et ad 5 (Opera, II, pp. 41-43). 39. For a discussion of various scholastic "proofs" for the existence of the angels (particularly, Aquinas's) and the philosophical backgrounds see ]. D. Collins, The Thomistic Philosophy of the Angels (Washington, 1947), pp. 16-40. For Aquinas, see ST, 1.50.1. For a discussion of the logical status and systematic roles of such "proofs" in Bonaventure's writings as a whole, see Bougerol, Introduction, 78-81. For the controversy over Abelard, see Arthur O. Lovejoy, The Great Chain of Being (Cambridge, 1936), pp 70-5. 40. Cf. Clement of Alexandria's discussion of angelic bodies in ANF II, p. 493. 41. Chenu, Nature, p. 228. The following discussion comes primarily from Murray, Reason, and Chenu, Nature, both of which take the new roles of reason and nature to be the subjects of their studies. 42. As translated in Beryl Smalley, The Study of the Bible in the Middle Ages (New York, 1952), p. 144 (Latin text, pp. 388-89). Chenu discusses this passage in Nature, p. 17. 43. Murray, Reason, p. 12. 44. Chenu, Nature, p. 230. 45. Hugh of Saint Victor, De Sacramentis, 1.5.19. 46. As quoted in Christopher Dawson, ed., The Mongol Mission, Narratives and Letters of the Franciscan Missionaries in Mongolia and China in the Thirteenth and Fourteenth Centuries (New York, 1955), p. 75. 47. On Augustine's views on nature and grace, see Pelikan, Tradition, vol. i, The Emergence of the Catholic Tradition (100-600), pp. 278-331. Pelikan discusses the transformation of the attitudes toward nature and grace in vol. 3, pp. 284ff. 48. See Chenu, Nature, p. 232. 49. R. H. West, Milton and the Angels (Athens, GA, 1955), p. 9. Thus, Jean Danielou's The Angels and their Mission (Westminster, MD, 1957), his study of patristic angelology, focuses almost exclusively on the soteriological or vocational aspects of the angels. 50. Benedict, Rule, chap. 7. Bernard echoes this idea in On Consideration, 5.5.12. 51. Bernard, Homilies in Praise of the Virgin Mother, 3.1. Aquinas, ST I, q. 53, a. 1-3. 52. Bernard, On Consideration, 5.4.7 (trans., p. I46)and Sermons on the Song of Songs, 5.2.7. 53. For a study of Platonism and Neoplatonism in the twelfth century, see Chenu, Nature, pp. 49-98. 54. For a discussion of this debate see Hugh of Saint Victor, The Didascalicon, ed. and trans, by Jerome Taylor (New York, 1961), pp. 170 n.27 and 227 n-355. Collins, Thomistic, p. 146. 56. For a discussion of the history of Aristotle in the University of Paris in this period, see Gordon Leff, Paris and Oxford Universities in the Thirteenth and Fourteenth Centuries (New York, 1968), pp. I91ff. Leff divides this history into four phases: 1210-1231 (the period of the ban), ca. 1230—ca.1260 (the period in which study is permitted), ca.1260—1277 (the years of heterodox Aristotelianism, represented chiefly by Siger of Brabant and his fol-

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lowers), and the Aftermath. For a history of the transmission of Aristotle into thirteenthcentury theological circles, see Knowles, Evolution, pp. 167-86. 57. CUP I, pp. 277-79, No. 246. See also Leff, Paris, p. 140. 58. 2 Sent, d. 3, p. i, a. i, q. 2, conc. (Opera, II, p. 98). For a lengthy treatment of the history of the debate over whether Bonaventure is an Augustinizing Aristotelian or an anti-Aristotelian Augustinian, see Quinn's Historical, pp. 17—99. For a shorter survey of the discussion, see Joseph Ratzinger, The Theology of History in St. Bonaventure (Chicago, 1959), pp. 120-28. 59. Paris, p. 134. 60. On Urban, see Smalley, Study, p. 309 and for Dante, see Paradise, XXIX, lines 22ff. 61. Augustine, Enchirdion, 59 (trans., NPNF III, p. 256). 62. Breviloquium, 2.6 (trans., p. 86). 63. Lombard examines the angels in distinctiones 2 through n of Book II of the Sentences; the second book examines the creation, and, as the summit of creation, angels belong at the beginning of this discussion. 64. The result of this initial reading was the dubia sections presented in the Quaracci edition of the Seraphic Doctor's Commentary. Reist, Bonaventure, pp. 1-13, provides a good summary of important dates for Bonaventure's career. (Bougerol, Introduction, p. 172, offers a slightly different set of dates.) Palemon Glorieux, in "L'enseignement au moyen age. Techniques et methodes en usage a la Faculte de Theolgie de Paris, au XHIe siecle," AHDLMA 35 (1968), pp. 65-186, surveys the methods and rules for Parisian scholastics in the thirteenth century. 65. Bernard, On Consideration, 5.3.5 through 5.5.12. 66. See Bernard, Sermons, 1.3.5 and Sermons, 5. 67. Bernard, Sermons, 5.2.7. 68. F. Courtney, Cardinal Robert Pullen (Rome, 1954), pp. 25-26. 69. For a study of the life and works of Robert Pullen, see Courtney, Pullen. For the dates of his teaching and other relevant questions of time and place, see pp. 1-32. Ferruolo's Origins also contains useful information on Pullen's ideas about education and his role in the development of the University of Paris. 70. Pullen, Sentences, PL 186, 719-26 and 881-87. 71. See Courtney, PuJJen, p. 23. 72. For a good study of the mechanics of Bonaventure's Commentary on the Sentences, see Bougerol, Introduction, pp. 58-73. 73. For a discussion of the dating, authorship, and purpose of this work, see Rodney M. Thomson's Introduction to his edition of Alexander Nequam's Speculum Speculationum (New York, 1988), pp. ix-xxiii. His comments on the angels are contained in chapters xv-lxxviii of Book III. 74. Nequam, Speculum, III, xxiv, xxvi, and xxvii (pp. 287—90). Pullen, Sentences, VI, 25 and 28 (PL 186,882-83). CHAPTER 5

1. ST, 1.50.2. 2. See, for example, Etienne Gilson, The Philosophy of St. Bonaventure (Patterson, N.J., 1965), 222-26 and The Philosophy of St. Thomas Aquinas (New York, 1929), 172-75; Collins, Thomistic, 42-75; Quinn, Historical, 139-59; E- Kleineidam, Das Problem der hylemorphen Zusammensetzung der geistigen Substanzen im 13. Jahrhundert, behandelt bis Thomas von Aquin (Breslau, 1930); and O. Lottin, "La composition hylemorphique des substances


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spirituelles. Le debuts de la controverse," RNSP 34 (1932), pp. 21-41. See also the extensive scholion on this question provided by the Quaracchi editors (Opera, II, pp. 92-94). 3. Dante, Paradiso, XXIX, lines 22ff. 4. CUP I, p. 548, no. 81. 5. On Avicebron, his influence, and Aquinas's thorough response to him, see Collins, Thomistic, pp. 42—74. 6. Hugh of Saint Victor, De Sacramentis, 1.5.7-8. 7. Quinn, Historical, p. 159, n. 50. 8. Compare his Glossa II, d. 3, (p. 25-49) and Summa Theologica, Inq. 1, Tract. II, Quaest. 1, Cap. 1 (pp. 60-61). 9. Salimbene, Cronica, pp. 59 and 335-37. 10. For example, 2 Sent., praelocutio (Opera, II, p. 1). For a discussion of each of the passages in which Bonaventure speaks of his master, see Bougerol, Introduction, p. 4. Note also that Bonaventure's dubia on Lombard's Sentences owe a great deal to Alexander's Glossa. See Bougerol, Introduction, p. 102. 11. Lombard, Sentences, II, d. 3, p. 1, c. 1. Bonaventure's discussion of doctrine of hylomorphism is contained primarily in 2 Sent., d. 3, p. 1, a. 1., q. 1—3 (Opera, II, pp. 88—102). The following discussion proceeds systematically through these passages. 12. 2 Sent., d. 3, p. 1, a. 1, q. 1 (Opera, II, p. 89). 13. Bernard, The Steps of Humility and Pride, Retractatio. 14. For a discussion of the association of angels and light, see Tavard, Engel, p. 61. 15. Hexaemeron, 4.12, (trans., p. 65). 16. 2 Sent., d. 3, p. 1, a. 1, q. 1 (Opera, II, p. 91). 17. For a discussion of Bonaventure's free reinterpretation of Aristotle on this point, see Quinn, Historical, pp. 142-43. 18. This question had appeared in various guises throughout the preceding centuries of Christian reflection. See Gerard Verbeke, The Presence of Stoicism in Medieval Thought (Washington, 1983), p. 35. 19. The following treatment of Aquinas's response to hylomorphism comes primarily from Collins, Thomistic, pp. 42-74. 20. On Aquinas's views of the distinction between essence and existence as its pertains to angels, see Collins, Thomistic, pp. 75-136. For Gilson's comparison of the two doctors on this point, see Bonaventure, pp. 222—26. 21. Peter Raedts, Richard Rufus and the Tradition of Oxford Theology (Oxford, 1987), pp. 9 and 66-67. 22. See the schoiion provided by the Quaracchi editors (Opera, II, pp. 93-94). 23. Nequam, Speculum, III, Ixvii (p. 331). 24. 2 Sent., d. 3, p. 1, a. 2, q. 1-3 (Opera, II, pp. 102-10). 25. Honorius of Autun, Liber Duodecim Quaestionum, 10, PL 172, 1183. 26. See, for example, Little, Poverty, pp. 184-96. 27. Andrew Martindal, Gothic Art (London, 1988), p. 115. 28. He cites Daniel 7:10 and an antiphon for the feast of all saints. These citations and each of the arguments presented in this paragraph are in 2 Sent., d. 3, p. I, a. 2, q. 1, fund. 1-4 (Opera, II, pp. 102-3). 29. Bernard, On Consideration, 5.4.7 (trans., p. 146). 30. See Gilson, Bonaventure, p. 230. 31. ST, 1.50.4. 32. See, for example, Bernard, Sermons, 19 and 5.1.4. 33. ST, 1.56.1. 34. Gilson, Bonaventure, pp. 231ff.

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35. 2 Sent., d. 3, p. 2, a. 2, q. 1 (Opera, II, pp. 117-21). 36. Gilson, Aquinas, p. 178. 37. Hugh of Saint Victor, De Sacramentis, 1.5.14. See also his Didascalicon, 1.6 and Appendix C. See also Augustine, City of God, 9.22. 38. Collins, Thomistic, pp. 137-233. Aquinas, ST, 1.54-1.58. 39. For Aquinas, see ST, 1.57.2 and 1.57.4. For Albertus, see his 2 Sent., d. 3, a. 16. 40. On Alan of Lille, see Nancy van Deusen, Theology and Music at the Early University: The Case of Robert Grosseteste and Anonymous IV (Leiden, 1995), pp. 83-86 and Colish, "Early," pp. 96—97. Aquinas, ST, 1.56.3. Bonaventure, 2 Sent., d. 3, p. 2, a. 2, q. 2 (Opera, II, pp. 122-24). 41. 2 Sent., d. 4, a. 2, q. 1 (Opera, II, pp. 136). 42. Ibid., d. 7, p. 2, a. 1, q. 3 (Opera, II, pp. 194-96). 43. Ibid., d. 3, p. 2, a. 3, q. 1-2 (Opera, II, pp. 124-28). See also Gilson, Bonaventure, P. 237. 44. On William of Auxerre, see also Colish, "Early," p. 101. 45. Peter N. Stearns and Carol Z. Stearns, "Emotionology: Clarifying the History of Emotions and Emotional Standards," American Historical Review, 90 (1985), p. 813. 46. 2 Sent., d. 3, p. 2, a. 3, q. 2. ST, 1.60.5. 47. Dante, Paradiso, XXVIII, line 126. Bonaventure's discussion of angelic joy comes from 2 Sent., d. 11, a. 2, q. 2-3 (Opera, II, pp. 285-89). 48. Opera, IX, p. 369b 49. Hexaemeron, 4.12. 50. Aquinas, ST, 1.113.7. Bernard, On Consideration, 5.4.8. Summa Sententiarttm,1.5, PL 176, 50. 51. These attributes permeate Seneca's writings. For a good survey of Seneca's work and several important texts, see The Stoic Philosophy of Seneca, translated and introduced by Moses Hadas (New York, 1958). On Stoic ideas of providence, see, for example, Marcus Aurelius, Meditations, II, 3, 9, 11, and 16. See also Epictetus's discussion of providence in his Discourses, (Book 1, chap. 6), which is representative of the Stoic thinking on pronoia at the turn of the first century A.D. Such were the kinds of doctrines that molded Christian providence. 52. See, for example, Sermons, Opera, IX, p. 628. 53. Soliloquy, 4.15. Catherine of Sienna, The Dialogues, trans, by Suzanne Noffke, O.P. (New York, 1980), chaps. 131 and 148, pp. 264 and 313. Bonaventure, Sermons, Opera, IX, p. 557a. 54. Sermons, Opera, IX, p. 628. 55. For a discussion of acedia in the Middle Ages, including its role in scholastic thought, see Siegfried Wenzel, The Sin of Sloth: Acedia in Medieval Thought and Literature (Chapel Hill, 1967). For an example of an invocation of an angel of peace, see Ancrene Riwle, trans, by M. B. Salu (Notre Dame, 1956), p. 19. For an example of declaring that guardian angels wake Christians from sloth, see Jacobus de Voragine's discussion of Michael and all the angels in his Legenda Aurea. 56. Augustine, City of God, 9.5 (trans., p. 285). Aquinas, "Responsio ad Lectorem Venetum de Articulis XXXVI," nos. 29 and 30, Opuscual Theologica, vol. 1, p. 206. 57. Sitmma Sententiarum, 1.5, PL 176, 50. Augustine, Confessions, 7.5.7. 58. Nequam, Speculum, III, xxxiv (p. 294). 59. 2 Sent., d. 2, p. 2, a. 2, q. 1 (Opera, II, pp. 75-77). 60. For the Fathers, see NCE, "Angels." See also the discussion of angelic bodies in chapter 1. For Bernard, see, On Consideration, 5.4.7 and Sermons, 5.2.7. 61. 2 Sent., d. 10, a. 1, q. 1 (Opera, II, p. 261) and 2 Sent., d. 2, p. 2, a. 2, q. 2, conc (Opera, II, p. 79).


N O T E S TO P A G E —119111—119

62. Ibid., q. 3 and q. 4 (Opera, II, pp. 80-84). 63. See Murray, Reason, chapters 6-8. 64. ST, 1.52.3. For the references to Scotus and others, see the scholion for this quaestio, (Opera, II, p. 84). 65. ST, 1.53.1-3. Compare Bernard's Homilies in Praise of the Virgin Mary, 3.1. For a consideration of Aquinas's views on angelic locomotion and their moving of the spheres, see Collins, Thomistic, pp. 305-21. 66. Edith Sylla delivered a paper on this aspect of fourteenth-century angelology at the May 1994 meeting in Kalamazoo of the International Congress on Medieval Studies. 67. The Condemnations may be found in CUP I, p. 543-45. Condemnations 5, 28, 30, 45, 58, 64, 67, 69, 70-86, 96, 112, 189, 204, 210, 218, and 219 concern angels. For Aquinas's position on the singularity of angelic species, see ST, 1.50.2 and 4. For FitzRalph, see Wolfgang Breidert, "Naturphilosophische Argumente in der Engelslehre," in Albert Zimmermann and Andreas Speer, eds,, Mensch and Nature im Mittelalter, vol. 21 of Miscellanea Mediaevalia (Berlin, 1991), p. 477, n. 37. 68. On the character of fourteenth-century theology, see Leff, Paris, pp. 240-55. On the problems confronting natural philosophy see Breidert's "Naturphilosophische." On the change in views about the contributions of the angels to the motions of the planets, see James A. Weisheipl, "The Celestial Movers in Medieval Physics," The Thomist 24, no. 24 (1961), pp. 317-18. The quotation concerning indeterminacy is from Gordon Leff, Gregory of Rimini: Tradition and Innovation in Fourteenth-Century Thought (Manchester, 1961), p. 132. 69. See, for example, J. D. Collins's Introduction to his Thomistic, pp. ix-xv. 70. See Tavard's review of this period in Engel, pp. 74-78. For a discussion of Scotus's angelology, see Etienne Gilson, Jean Duns Scot, Introduction a ses Positions Fundamentals (Paris, 1952), chapter 5. 71. See his Quaestiones 8, 11-16 (Opera, V, pp. 152-62 and 232-381) and Quodlibet 1, Quaestiones 4-8 (Opera, IX, pp. 23-50). PART III 1. See Jean Leclerq, "Monasticism and Angelism," The Downside Review 85 (April), 1967, p. 128. CHAPTER 6 1. For a fuller treatment of this use of angels see the first chapter of Jean Leclerq's La vie parfaite: points de vue sur 1'essence de la, vie religeuse (Paris, 1948). See also his essay cited in the introduction to Part III, particularly for his emphasis on the eschatological links between monks and angels. 2. Bernard, De dispensatione et praecepto, 17.54. 3. Chrodegang of Metz, Regula Canonicorum, 25, PL 89, 1102. Bernard McGinn, The Growth of Mysticism, vol 2 of The Presence of God: A History of Christian Mysticism (New York, 1994), p. 290. Geoffrey's interpolation of angelic topics into his sermons can be examined by consulting the indices to his works in PL 174, 1637 and 1653. 4. Bernard, On Consideration, 5.4.7 (trans., p. 146). 5. Hugh of Saint Victor, De Sacramentis, 1.5.10. 6. Bernard, "Second Sermon on the Octave of Easter," Opera V, p. 119. 7. Caesarius of Heistcrbach, Diaiogus Miraculorum, 2 vols. (Cologne, 1851), 1.6. For the good abbot, see William of Saint Thierry et al., Vita Prima S. Bernardi, PL 185, 327.

NOTES TO PAGES 119 — 1 2 4 229

8. For each of these discussions, see, Caesarius, Dialogus, 8.79, Gregory the Great, Dialogues, 1.4, and Jacobus de Voragine, Legenda Aurea (Leipzig, 1850), chap. 214, "Thomas Aquinas." 9. Gertrude the Great, Exercices, 3rd Exercise, lines 127, 207, 214, 229—30. 10. Jean Leclerq, Monks and Love in Twelfth-Century France, Psycho-Historical Essays (New York, 1979). 11. Bernard, Sermons on the Song of Songs, 19. See especially 19.3.7 for his scathing lecture to the monks. 12. Peter Damian, Liber Gomorrhianus, PL 145, 159-90. The angelological passages discussed here can be found in chapters 3, 5, 16, and 21-22. For a discussion of the reception of this text, see John Boswell, Christianity, Social Tolerance, and Homosexuality: Gay People in Western Europe from the Beginning of the Christian Era to the Fourteenth Century (Chicago, 1980), pp. 210-13. 13. See Peter Damian, Opusculum 23.4, PL 145, 473 and Bernard's "Twelfth Sermon on Psalm 90, 'Qui Habitat'," Opera IV, p. 460. 14. For an example of the function of the concept of "the masculine gaze," see Christine Klapisch-Zuber, ed., Silences of the Middle Ages, vol. 2 of A History of Women in the West (Cambridge, 1994), p. 7. 15. For Radulph Ardens, see Homiliae de Tempore, 38, PL 155, 1459. For Galland, see Jean Leclerq, ed., Analecta Monastica, first series, Studia Anselmiana, 20 (Rome, 1948), p. 173. 16. For the invocation of angels to scold lazy monks, see Meditationes Piissimae de Cognitione Humanae Conditinis (attributed to St. Bernard), PL 184, 496. For Agathon, see Jacobus, Legenda, chap. 179, "Saint Agathon, Abbot." 17. Jacobus, Legenda, chap. 21, "Saint Anthony." For other lives of the Fathers which involve angels, see chaps. 176—79. 18. Gertrude the Great, Exercices, 6th Exercise, lines 316-18. Bernard, "Twelfth Sermon on Psalm 90, 'Qui Habitat'," Opera IV, pp. 460-61. For a discussion of acedia, see Siegfried Wenzel, The Sin of Sloth: Acedia in Medieval Thought and Literature (Chapel Hill, 1967). For a discussion of acedia in the context of ancient traditions and its contemporary relevance, see my "Love without Laziness: Eudaimonia, Medieval Understandings of Acedia (Sloth), and Dante's Pttrgatorio XVII-XIX," Budhi: A Journal of Ideas and Culture, 1, no. 1 (1997). PP- 1-30. 19. The Augsburg Confession, Article 27 ("Monastic Vows"), as presented in The Book of Concord, The Confessions of the Evangelical Lutheran Church, ed. by Theodore G. Tappert (Philadelphia, 1983), p. 78. 20. For his use of Bernard, see Apologia pauperum, 3.13. For the texts of the sermons, see Opera, IX, pp. 523a, 621a, and 628a. For discussions of Bonaventure's Franciscanism, see J. G. Bougerol's Introduction to the Works of Bonaventure (Patterson, N.J, 1964) and chapter 1 of Etienne Gilson's The Philosophy of St. Bonaventure (Patterson, N.J., 1965). 21. The origins of the Franciscans (and Dominicans) have been well-studied. I have drawn primarily from Lester Little's Religious Poverty and the Profit Economy (Ithaca, 1978); John Moorman's A History of the Franciscan Order: From its Origins to the Year 1517 (Oxford, 1968); John Fleming, An Introduction to the Franciscan Literature of the Middle Ages (Chicago, 1977); and M.-D. Chenu's Nature, Man and Society in the Twelfth Century (Chicago, 1968), chaps. 6 and 7 for this survey. 22. For Brother Masseo, see II Fioretti de San Francesco, ed. G. Paganani (Rome, 1959), chap. 29. For other references to Francis as an angel, see chaps, 11 and 27. For Franciscans as angels, see, for example, Fioretti, chaps. 6, 17, 43, and 47.


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23. For Francis, see Actus beati Francisci et sociorum ejus, ed. by Paul Sabatier (Paris, 1902), chap. 13, p. 48. Bonaventure, Sermons, Opera, IX, p. 612a and p. 339b. 24. Celano, Second Life, 2.153 as translated in Marion Habig, ed., St. Francis of Assisi: Writings and Early Biographies (Chicago, 1983), p. 523. Thomas of Celano (ca.1260) ca.1260) wrote two early Lives of Francis. Legenda Maior, 9.3. 25. Clareno's "civem angelorum" is quoted in Etienne Gilson's Bonaventure, p. 62. For Bonaventure's discussion of Francis's raptures, see, for example, Opera, IX, p. 579. On Giles, see Legenda Maior, 3.4. 26. For later depictions of Bonaventure, see, for example, the frontispieces to volumes 2 and 3 of J. G. Bougerol, ed., S. Bonaventura 1274-1974, 4 vols. (Rome, 1973-74). For other Franciscan interest, see, for example, Thomas of Celano's exploration of the meanings of the seraphic encounter in his First Life, 2.9 as translated in Habig, Francis, pp. 328-29. 27. Legenda Maior, 2.8. Francis Bartoli, Tractatus de Indulgentia S. Marias de Portiuncula, ed. by Paul Sabatier (Paris, 1900), pp. 3, 13, 19, 20, and 54. 28. Hexaemeron, 21.20 (trans., p. 332). Fioretti, chaps. 4, 17, 20, 26, 42, and 48. 29. Determinationes quaestionum circa Regulam FF. Minoram, p. 1, q. 1 (Opera, VIII, p. 338). For a monastic treatise that sees the angelic life as both active and contemplative, see Giles Constable, Three Studies in Medieval Religious and Social Thought (Cambridge, 1995), PP- 46-47. 30. Actws, chap. 54, p. 165. 31. On Franciscans laboring together "sicut in collegiis" see Hexaemeron, 21.32. For a study of Franciscans as bishops, see Williell Thompson's Friars in the Cathedral (Toronto, I975)32. See, for example, Salimbene de Adam, Cronica, ed. by Giuseppe Scalia, 2 vols. with continuous pagination (Bari, 1966), pp. 856 and 910. See also, for example, Fioretti, chap. 37. 33. The texts of these sermons are found in vol. 9 of the Opera Omnia, pp. 609-31. For Bonaventure's discussions of the ministrations and contemplations of the angels, see esp. pp. 615a-18a, 619b, and 620a-22a. 34. For Bonaventure, see Sermons, Opera, IX, p. 621. See also, Soliloquy, 2.7. On Lazarus, see Sermons, Opera, IX, p. 365b On the importance of the story of Lazarus in the new urban economy of Europe, see Little, Poverty, pp. 36-37. Peter of Celle, as quoted in Michael Camille, Image on the Edge, The Margins of Medieval Art (Cambridge, MA, 1992), p. 56. 35. Sermons, Opera, IX, p. 615a. 36. For Bonaventure's most extensive exegesis of this passage in Isaiah, see Hexaemeron, 8.7-19. For passages discussed here, see Hexaemeron. 21.24 (trans., p. 334) and 2.5 (trans., p. 23). See also, On the Government of the Soul, 2; Legenda Maior, 12.1 and his Determinationes quaestionum circa Regulam FF. Minorum p. 1, q. 1 (Opera, VIII, p. 338). 37. Soliloquy, 4.20. Augustine, City of God, 11.28. On Bonaventure and the Itinerarium, see Moorman, History, p. 66. CHAPTER 7 1. Decima Douie, "St. Bonaventura's Part in the Conflict between Seculars and Mendicants," in Bougerol, ed., S. Bonaventura, vol. 2, pp. 586—87, provides a good summary of the reasons for the masters' and clergy's enmity. 2. See R. Brooke, Government, p. 206. 3. Lilliam Mclczcr, ed. and trans., The Pilgrim's Guide to Santiago de Compostela (New

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York, 1993), p. 101, 99. For a discussion of the ways in which Cluniac monks sought to benefit from the shrines along the way, see Melczer's Introduction, pp. 28-35 4. For the Florentines, see Salimbene, Cronica, p. 117. For the people of Assisi, see Actws, chap. 32, p. 113. 5. For a survey of Guillaume's agenda, see Douie, "Bonaventura's," pp. 587—93. 6. See Douie, "Bonaventura's," pp. 589, 596, and R. Brooke, Government, p. 268. 7. For a discussion of this text, see Bougerol, Introduction, pp. 118-20, and Douie, "Bonaventura's," pp. 593-96. 8. For Bonaventure's use of angels, see his Quaestiones disputatae de perfectione evangelica, q. 4, a. 2, sed contra 13 (Opera, V, p. 185a). For Douie's observation, see his "Bonaventura's" p. 611. 9. Aquinas, Against Those Who Attack the Religious Profession, 4.5-6, in An Apology for the Religious Orders, ed. by John Proctor, (London, 1902), pp. 125-29. 10. This text is in PL 172, 1177-86. 11. For a discussion of the importance of this text in the development of Bonaventure's eschatological thinking, see E. R. Daniel, "St. Bonaventure: Defender of Franciscan Eschatology," in Bougerol, ed., S. Bonaventura, vol.4, pp. 795-97. See also Douie, "Bonaventura's," p. 595. 12. Quaestiones disputatae de perfectione evangelica, q. 2 a. 3 ad. 12 (Opera V, p. 164). 13. For a discussion of this text, see Douie, "Bonaventura's," pp. 601-9. 14. Apologia, Prologue (trans., p. 1) and 1.2 (trans., p. 6). 15. Apologia 6.14—15 (trans., p. 119) and Ambrose, De Elia et ieiunio, 4.3—4. Apologia, 6.15. and Jerome, Epistolae, 130.10. Bonaventure also uses the angels to exhort his fellow Franciscans to maintain their chastity. In one of his sermons, the Seraphic Doctor declares that "an angel freely comes to a virgin as a lover of purity." Sermons, Opera, IX, p. 621. As might be expected, Gabriel is the angel who is most active in the preservation of chastity. See Sermons, Opera, IX, p. 628. 16. Marjorie Reeves, The Influence of Prophecy in the Later Middle Ages (Oxford, 1969), p. 175. 17. The writings and ideas of Joachim have been carefully discussed in several places. What the following section will highlight is the importance of angels in Joachim's thought, a topic that has not received much attention. While mention will be made of only those aspects that inform Bonaventure's angelology, fuller treatments of the Calabrian abbot's thought can be found in the works of Reeves and Bloomfield in the bibliography as well as in E. Randolph Daniel's "Introduction" to his edition of Joachim's Liber de Concordia (Philadelphia, 1983). 18. The following discussion of apocalypticism comes primarily from the following: Norman Cohn's "Medieval Millenarism: its Bearing on the Comparative Study of Millenarian Movements" in Sylvia Thrupp, ed., Millenial Dreams in Action (The Hague, 1962); Bernard McGinn's Visions of the End (New York, 1979); and Norman Cohn's Pursuit of the Millennium (New York, 1961). 19. Augustine, City of God, 20.9 (trans., p. 726). 20. See Richard Kenneth Emmerson, Antichrist in the Middle Ages (Seattle, 1981), p. 19. See also Chenu, Nature, p. 176. 21. Joachim uses angels throughout his scriptural speculations. See, Liber de Concordia, 1, chap, 1, 1. 92. and Ibid., 2.1, chap. 34, 11. 3—4. 22. For the calculation of the durations of the statws according to the number of generations between biblical and historical figures, see Liber de Concordia, ed. by E. E. Daniel, p. xxxvii and Reeves, Joachim of Fiore and the Prophetic Future (New York, 1976), pp. 6ff, and Influence, p. 19f.


N O T E S TO P A G E S 136-140

23. For a fuller treatment of Joachim's understanding of world history, see Reeves, Influence, pp. 16—27. 24. For references to the texts in this paragraph and a discussion of the character of the legends surrounding Joachim, see Reeves, Joachim, pp. 5, 24, and Influence, pp. 72, 21f. 25. Vita Prima S. Bernardi, 1.6.28. 26. Reeves, Joachim, p. 13. Joachim seems to have entertained the possibility that the Cistercians were in some way an order with great apocalyptic meaning. See the references given in Daniel's "Introduction" to the Liber de Concordia, p. xi. 27. See Reeves, Influence, pp. 141—42. 28. Joachim, Expositio in Apocalypsim, f. 82v., as translated in Joseph Ratzinger, The Theology of History in Saint Bonaventure (Chicago, 1959), p. 41. 29. See Reeves, Joachim, p. 29 and Influence, pp. 141-44 and Joachim, Expositio, f. 152r. 30. See Bernard McGinn, "The Ahbot and the Doctors: Scholastic Reactions to the Radical Eschatology of Joachim of Fiore," Church History 40, no. 1 (March, 1971), pp- 35f. 31. For a treatment of the spread of Joachim's ideas, see Morton W. Bloomfield and Marjorie E. Reeves, "The Penetration of Joachism into Northern Europe," Speculum 29 (1954), pp. 772—93. On the earliest Franciscan contact with the ideas of Joachim, see E. R. Daniel, "A Reexamination of the Origins of Franciscan Joachitism," Speculum 43 (1968), pp. 671-6. See also, McGinn, "The Abbot" and Reeves, Joachim, p. 27. 32. Dante, Paradiso, XII, lines 139—41 (trans., p. 181). 33. See, for example, Salimbene, Cronica, p. 339. 34. Salimbene, Cronica, p. 251. 35. For the passages discussed in this paragraph, see Salimbene, Cronica, respectively pp. 813, 419-20, 600-01, 721, 636-38, 661-62, and 171. 36. The primary sources for this controversy can be found in H. Denifle, ALKG I (1885), pp. 49-142, Das Evangelium Aeternum und die Commission zu Anagni, and CUP I, pp. 272-76 and 331-33. Salimbene's Cronica also provides important biographical information about Gerard. See pp. 340-41 and 660-70. For a bibliography of earlier secondary treatments of the matter, see Bloomfield and Reeves, "Penetration of Joachism," p. 772 n.2. More recent works include, Reeves, Influence, Part i Chapter 6, "The Scandal of the Eternal Evangel," pp. 59-70, and pp. 187-89, and Ratzinger, Theology, passim. For a discussion of the history of the relationship between the secular masters and the mendicants, see D. Douie, The Conflict Between the Seculars and Mendicants at the University of Paris in the Thirteenth Century (London, 1954). 37. Salimbene, Cronica, p. 340. 38. E. R. Daniel, The Franciscan Concept of Mission in the High Middle Ages (Lexington, KY, 1975), p. 79. 39. Joachim, Expositio in Apocalypsim, f. I2ov. 40. CUP I, pp. 274-75. 41. For Aldelbert and Boniface, see Valerie I. J. Flint, The Rise of Magic in Early Medieval Europe (Princeton, 1991), p. 168. For the later movements, see Norman Cohn, The Pursuit of the Millenium (New York, 1961) pp. 35, 77, 115, 144, and 234. 42. Quaestiones disputatae de perfectione evangelica, q. 4, a. 2, sed contra 13 (Opera, V, p. 185a). 43. As quoted in Bernard McGinn, The Foundations of Mysticism (New York, 1991), p. 335. 44. See Daniel, "Eschatology," pp. 798-99; Reeves, Influence, p. 176 and Joachim, pp. 32-33; and Joachim, Liber de Concordia, 4, pt. 1, chap. 45 for sources and discussions of the early linking of Francis and this angel. For a discussion of the Franciscan interest in the

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apocalyptic identification of their founder, see S. Bihel, "S. Franciscanus Fuitne Angelus Sexti Sigilli (Apoc. 7:2)" in Antonianum 2 (1927) pp. 59—90. 45. On Francis's prophetic powers, see, for example, Fioretti, chap. 2 and Bonaventure's Legenda Maior, Prologue. For angels giving thanks, see Actus, chap. 28, p. 96. For Gerard, see CUP I, pp. 272-74. 46. CUP I, p. 297 and 315. Salimbene, Cronica, pp. 663-64. 47. Salimbene, Cronica, p. 334. 48. For the information pertaining to Gerard's fate, see Salimbene's Cronica, pp. 34142 and 660—61. 49. See Daniel, "Eschatology," p. 798 and n. 15 and Reeves, Joachim, p. 32. On John of Parma as minister general, see R. Brooke, Government, pp. 255-71. 50. Actws, chap. 76, p. 219. 51. Salimbene, Cronica, pp. 661—62, 342—43, and 664—65. 52. Salimbene, Cronica, p. 254. On the implications of the new details, see Gilson, Bonaventure, p. 19. 53. Legenda Maior, Prologue, 54. Ibid., Miracles (Opera, VIII, p. 549). 55. Apologia, 3.10 (trans., p. 44). 56. Legenda Maior, 13.3. Thomas of Celano (the author of one of the Lives that Bonaventure's Legenda replaced), for example, discusses the event in his First Life of Saint Francis, 2.9.114-115. 57. Itinerarium, Prologue.2 (trans., p. 6). 58. See, for example, Legenda Maior, 6.9 and 8.4. For a discussion of the importance of stressing Francis's role as a pacifier (and Bonaventure's use of Francis to pacify the Spirituals), see the Introduction to Bonaventure's Legenda by Damien Vorreux, in Habig, ed. Francis, pp. 619-21. Bernard's emphasis on the peacefulness and harmony of the angels is one of the central themes of Leclerq's "Monasticism and Angelism." 59. Legenda Maior, Prologue, 60. Quaestiones disputatae de perfections evangelica, q. 2 a. 3 ad. 12 (Opera, V, p. 164), Legenda Maior, Prologue 1 and 2 and 13.10, and Hexaemeron, 16.16. On the significance of the "T," see Ratzinger, Theology, pp. 34-35. 61. Salimbene, Cronica, p. 433. 62. Hexaemeron, 23.14—31. 63. Habig, ed., Francis, p. 625, n. 21. 64. Reeves, Influence, p. 176. 65. McGinn, "Abbot," p. 47. 66. Ratzinger, Theology, p. 34. 67. R. Brooke, "Bonaventure," p. 88. 68. Bougerol, Introduction, p. 130. For a study of the techniques and tradition of the colktio, see Bougerol, Introduction, pp. 125-33. 69. Hexaemeron, 21.32. He corrects the arrangement of the nine orders of angels he offered in the Commentary on the Sentences. 70. Ibid., 21.20. 71. See Hexaemeron, 5.26—27 and 16.29. For a discussion of the apocalyptic aspects of Aristotelianism, see, for example, David Burr, "The Apocalyptic Element in Olivi's Critique of Aristotle," in Church History 40 (1972), pp. 15-29. Peter Olivi (ca. 1248-98), a Spiritual Franciscan had studied at Paris, and may well have attended the delivery of the Hexaemeron. 72. Breviloquium, part 7. For the development of Apocalyptic thought in Bonaventure's writings, see Ratzinger, Theology, esp. chaps. 1—3.


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73. See, in particular, Hexaemeron, 16.28-29. 74. Robert Brentano's Two Churches: England and Italy in the Thirteenth Century (Berkeley, 1988) provides a lucid account of the state of the thirteenth-century church, the successes and failures of IV Lateran, and the importance of the friars in Italian pastoral activity. 75. Hexaemeron, 16.29. 76. Ibid., 22.18-23. 77. Ibid., 22.22-23 (trans., p. 352). 78. This figure comes from calculations based on prayers for members who died in a specific year. See R. Brooke, Government, p. 283. 79. Opera, VIII, pp. 468—69. For a discussion of these points, see R. Brooke, "Bonaventure," p. 83f. 80. Epistola de tribus quaestionibus, n. 13 (Opera, VIII, p. 336). See also Fleming, Introduction, pp. 88 and 175. 81. The literature on the relationship between the first Rule for the order (approved by Innocent HI but not established by a bull), the Regula Bullata confirmed by Honorius III (1223), and Francis's Testament is enormous. See Gilson, Bonaventure, p. 36ff. Rosalinde P. Brooke has surveyed the actions of Bonaventure as minister general in "Bonaventure as Minister General," See also her Government, pp. 211, 247, and 271-79. 82. Vita Seraphici Doctoris in Opera, X, p. 61. 83. Cronica, pp. 136—239. 84. Frances A. Yates, The Art of Memory (Chicago, 1966). 85. For both Aquinas and Bonaventure, see McGinn, "Abbot," p. 38-43 and Reeves, Influence, p. 31. Daniel's "Bonaventure," pp. 793-95 surveys the range of contemporary interpretations of Bonaventure's Joachism. See also Reeves, Influence, pp. 175—81. 86. Sermons, Opera, IX, p. 629a. 87. Legenda Major, 2.5. For his affirmation of the New Testament, see, for example, Hexaemeron, 16.2, For a discussion of Bonaventure's Christocentrism, see Ratzinger, Theology, p. 68 and 32. 88. Jacobus de Voragine, Legenda Aurea (Leipzig, 1850), chap. 86, "The Birth of Saint John the Baptist." 89. This is the thesis of E. R. Daniel in "Bonaventure." He reads this collation as the culmination of Bonaventure's understanding of a Franciscan eschatology inherited from the previous generation of friars. Etienne Gilson provides a similar reading in his Bonaventure, pp. 75-78. 90. Etienne Gilson offers these arguments in Bonaventure, pp. 73-75. 91. Epistola 1 (Opera, VIII, p. 468). 92. Hexaemeron, 22.22-23 (trans., p. 352). Daniel disagrees with both Ratzinger and McGinn on this point. The latter argue that Bonaventure does envision a specific order whereas Daniel argues that Bonaventure uses the term ordo loosely, to describe a group of individuals not a formal institutional association. It seems possible to argue both sides because Bonaventure remains so ambiguous. It seems likely, however, that he believed that the new ordo would not be a formal order in the traditional sense. For a discussion of the arguments of Daniel, McGinn, and Ratzinger, see Daniel, "Bonaventure," pp. 804-6. 93. Hexaemeron, 20.30. 94. Ibid., 22.19. 95. Ibid., 16.29. 96. Ibid., 22.22—23 (trans., p. 352). 97. Reeves, Influence, p. 209. 98. On Olivi, see Burr, "Apocalyptic Elements," p. 24, and Daniel, Concept, p. 84. On

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the apocalyptic importance of the conversion of non-Christians in Franciscan thought see pp. 76-98. 99. Reeves, Joachim, pp. 50-51. 100. Reeves, Influence, p. 245. 101. Reeves, Joachim, p. 73. For Reeves's discussion of the history of the angelic pope, see Influence, part 4, "Angelic Pope and Renovatio Mundi." On the origins of the belief in the Angelic Pope, see Gordon Leff, Heresy in the Later Middle Ages: The Relation of Heterodoxy to Dissent, c. 1250-1450, 2 vols. (New York, 1967), vol. 1, pp. 185-6. See also Bernard McGinn, "Angel Pope and Papal Antichrist," Church History 47, no. 2 (1978), pp. 155-73. 102. Salimbene, Cronica, pp. 718-19. 103. The Life of Cola di Rienzo, trans, by John Wright (Toronto, 1975), pp. 3 7-38 and 125. 104. Dante, Paradiso, XII, lines 121-26. PART IV

1. See R. and C. Brooke, Popular Religion in the Middle Ages (Leipzig, 1984), p. 131-32 and Jean Leclerq et al, The Spirituality of the Middle Ages (New York, 1968), p. 348. See also William Melczer, ed. and trans., The Pilgrim's Guide to Santiago de Compostela (New York, 1993).

2. For a discussion of the development of beliefs about angels in the patristic era, see Eric Peterson's Angels and the Liturgy (New York, 1964) and Jean Danielou's The Angels and their Mission (Westminster, MD, 1957). 3. See, for example, Opera, IX, p. 369. In this sermon, the Seraphic Doctor argues that the guardian angels preside over our terrestrial lives. 4. Opera, IX, pp. 609-31, These sermons were collated under this title by the editors of the Opera Omnia. 5. Sermons, Opera, IX, pp. 612b and 624b-25a. 6. See, for example, C. and R. Brooke, Religion, pp. 12, 25, 61_62, 64, 109, 123, and 140. See also Aron Gurevich, trans, by Janos M. Bak and Paul A. Hollingsworth, Medieval Popular Culture: Problems of Belief and Perception (Cambridge, UK, 1993), chap. 1. 7. I have drawn on a variety of perspectives and interpretations of the thirteenthcentury church for this overview: R. and C. Brookes' Religion; Lester K. Little's, Religious Poverty and the Profit Economy (Ithaca, 1978); Jaroslav Pelikan's The Christian Tradition, vol. 3 (Chicago, 1978); Robert Brentano's Two Churches: England and Italy in the Thirteenth Century (Berkeley, 1988); Jacques Leclerq et al., Spirituality; M.-D. Chenu, Nature, Man, and Society in the Twelfth Century (Chicago, 1968); Carolyn Walker Bynum's Jesus as Mother: Studies in the Spirituality of the High Middle Ages (Berkeley, 1982); R.I. Moore's The Formation of a Persecuting Society: Power and Deviance in Western Europe, 950-1250 (Oxford, 1987); and Steven Ozment's The Age of Reform (New Haven, 1980). 8. Leclerq, et al., Spirituality, p. 371. 9. See Brentano, Two Churches, pp. 3f. and 108f. 10. Salimbene de Adam, Cronica, ed. by Giuseppe Scalia, 2 vols. with continuous pagination (Bari, 1966), p. 43. 11. John van Engen reviews this debate in his "The Christian Middle Ages as an Historiographical Problem," American Historical Review 91 (1986), pp. 519—52. CHAPTER 8 1. Compare Bonaventure, 2 Sent., d. 11, dub. 1 (Opera, II, p. 289) and Aquinas, ST, 1.13.5. For Peter Damian, sec Opusculum 23.4, PL 145, 473.


NOTES TO PAGES l 6 l - l 6 6

2. Bonaventure's most extensive treatment is in his Commentary on the Sentences (2 Sent., d. 11, [Opera, II, pp. 276-90]). See also Jacobus, Legenda, chap. 145, "Michael," and Caesarius, Dialogus, 8.41. For a treatment of patristic discussions of the doctrine of Guardian Angels, see Danielou, Angels, p. 68ff. For the Master, see Peter Lombard, Sentences, Book II, d. 11. For a list of examples of anagogical exegeses concerning the guardian angels, see Bonaventure, 2 Sent., d. 11, a. 1, q. 1, sed contra (Opera, II, p. 277). 3. John Boswell, The Kindness of Strangers: The Abandonment of Children in Western Europe from Late Antiquity to the Renaissance (New York, 1988), pp. 152 and 158. 4. Nequam treats certain questions concerning the guardian angels in Speculum Speculationum, ed. by R.M. Thomson (New York, 1988) II, xxii-xxiii, pp. 284-87. 5. 2 Sent., d. 11, a. 1, q. 1, solutio (Opera, II, p. 278). This passage contains the primary arguments for the positions discussed in this paragraph. 6. Pelikan, Tradition, vol. 3, p. 298. 7. ST, 1.113.6. 8. Jacobus, Legenda, chap. 145, "Michael," and chap, 1 "The Advent of the Lord." Caesarius, Dialogus, 8.43, 8.41. 9. Caesarius, Dialogus, 8.43—44. 10. For the angel prompting a letter see Bernard, Epist. 147 (Opera VII). For Eleanor's choosing of an ambush-free path thanks to her angel as recorded in the Chronicle of Tours, see Amy Kelly, Eleanor of Aquitaine and the Four Kings (Cambridge, MA, 1978), pp. 80-81. For the Christianization of Fortune, see the discussion of the order of the principalities in chapter 3. n. See A. Wilmart, Auteurs spirituels et textes devots du moyen age (Paris, 1971), pp. 538-51, for a collection of prayers. Amalarius of Metz, Liber Officialis, PL 105, 1001. 12. See Actus, ed. by P. Sabatier (Paris, 1902) chap. 3, p. 16. (The Vulgate has "Cur" instead of "Quid.") See also Jacobus, Legenda, chap. 119, "The Assumption of the Virgin" for another example of an angel employing the same words. 13. On the Carolingian condemnations, see J. B. Russell, Witchcraft in the Middle Ages (Ithaca, 1972), pp. 66, 68-69, and 82. For Alberic vision, see Jacques LeGoff, trans., by Arthur Goldhammer, The Birth of Purgatory (Chicago, 1981), p. 186. For a discussion of the relationship between Patrick and his angel, see below, chapter 9. For the prayers, see A. Wilmart, Auteurs, pp. 544-51. 14. Soliloquy, 26 (trans., p. 61). 15. 2 Sentences, d. 11, a. 2., q. 1 (Opera, II, pp. 282-83) and Aquinas, ST, 1.113.6. 16. A. Wilmart, Auteurs, p. 547. 17. C. and R. Brooke, Religion, p. 104, and Ethel Ross Barker, Rome of the Pilgrims and Martyrs (London 1912), p. 258. 18. For a discussion of patristic views of the relationship between angels and baptism and for the references for the sources of this paragraph, see Danielou, Angeis, pp. 56ff. Tertullian seems to have been the first theologian to link the angels with the cleansing waters of baptism. See Peterson, Angels, p. 31. See also Henry Ansgar Kelly, The Devil at Baptism (Ithaca, 1985), p. 10. For the changes in baptismal practices from the early church through the early Middle Ages, see J. D. C. Fisher, Christian Initiation: Baptism in the Medieval West (London, 1965) and Keith Thomas, Religion and the Decline of Magic (New York, 1971), p. 36. Liber ResponsaJis, PL 78, 770-71. 19. Gertrude the Great, Exercices, ist Exercise, 11. 78, 81-82. 20. C. and R. Brooke, Religion, p. 50. 21. Jacobus, Legenda, chap. 214, "Thomas Aquinas"; Caesarius, Dialogus, 8.79; and "The Life of Saint Agnes," 11.362—63, as ed. and trans, by Brigittc Gazelles in her The Lady




as Saint: A Collection of French Hagiographic Romances of the Thirteenth Century (Philadelphia, 1991), p. 96. 22. Jacobus, Legenda, chap. 162, "All Saints." 23. For a discussion of spiritual marriage, see Dyan Elliot, Spiritual Marriage: Sexual Abstinence in Medieval Wedlock (Princeton, 1993). 24. On the new soteriological significance of marriage, see C. and R. Brooke, Religion, p. no. For a treatment of the development of marriage as a sacrament, including the debates about its relative merit as a sacrament, see Georges Duby, trans, by Barbara Bray, The Knight the Lady and the Priest: The Making of Modern Marriage in Medieval France (New York, 1983) and Christopher N. L. Brooke, The Medieval Idea of Marriage (Oxford, 1989). On Tertullian, see Peterson, Angels, p. 35. For the windows, see Marcel Aubert, Les Vitraux de Notre-Dame et de Sainte-Chapelle de Paris (Paris, 1959), p. 123 n.3 and pi. N-6 and p. 157 n.2 and pi. L-6. On the importance of Sarah and Tobias, see Christine Klapisch-Zuber, ed., Silences of the Middle Ages, vol. 2 of A History of Women in the West (Cambridge, 1994), pp. 105-7. For the Psalter, see Andrew Martindale, Gothic Art (London, 1988), p. 137, fig. 102. 25. See, for example, Caesarius, Dialogus, 7.26. 26. ]. Alexander and P. Binski, eds., Age of Chivalry (London, 1987), p. 307, fig. 257, also presents a picture of such a crozier head manufactured ca. 1205-15. 27. On the relationship between angels and prayer in the early church, see Danielou, Angels, p. 78ff. For Origen, see J. W. Trigg, Origen: The Bible and Philosophy in the ThirdCentury Church (Atlanta, 1983), p. 161. See also Pelikan, Tradition, vol. 1, p. 133 for angelic mediation. 28. See Bernard, Four Homilies in Praise of the Virgin Mother, 3.1. For Bonaventure's discussions of angels and prayer, see Legenda Maior, 12.1; Sermons, Opera, IX, p. 626b. On angels in sacramentaries, see Ildefonso Schuster, The Sacramentary (London, 1929), October 24 and May 8. As an example of praying for an angel, see Robert Brentano's record of a bishop asking his audience to pray for an angel to assist him (Two Churches, p. 196). See also Jacobus, Legenda, chap. 145, "Michael." 29. Breviloquium, 5.10.1-3 (trans., pp. 217-8). 30. See, for example, the data Robert Brentano provides in Two Churches, p. 231. 31. I take this list from Daniel Callahan, "The Cult of Saint Michael the Archangel and the Terrors of the Year 1000,'" (unpublished manuscript, 1991), p. 2. 32. For brief treatments of the history of Marian piety in the period, see C. and R. Brooke, Religion, pp. 31-34 and Leclerq et al,. Spirituality, pp.250-54. For the Condemnations, see CUP I, p. 543. 33. Jacobus, Legenda, chap., 189, "Feast of the Conception of the Blessed Virgin Mary." 34. Sermons, Opera, IX, p. 612b. On Bonaventure and Mary, see Georges Tavard, The Forthbringer of God: Saint Bonaventure on the Virgin Mary (Chicago, 1989). 35. For Dante, compare Inferno VII, nf; Purgatorio, XIII, 51; Paradise, IV, 46f with Pwrgatorio, X, 34-40; Paradiso, IV, 47; IX, 13; XIV, 36; XXIII, 94-110; XXXII, 94-96. For Henry Adams, see his Mont-St.-Michel (Boston, 1905), p. 202. On the Protestant's shift away from Mary, see Ben Weinreb and Christopher Hibbert, eds., The London Encyclopedia (London, 1985), "Angel," p. 22. 36. For Caesarius's discussion of the Ave Maria, see, Dialogus, 7.25-27. On the origins of the Angelus, see Jaroslav Pelikan, Mary through the Centuries: Her Place in the History of Culture (New Haven, 1996), p. 99. On Queen Elizabeth and the Angelus, see Eamon Duffy, The Stripping of the Altars: Traditional Religion in England, 1400-1580 (New Haven: Yale University Press, 1992), p. 289. For an example of a prayer to angels attached to Marian


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prayers, see Jean Leclerq, ed., Analectica Monastica, first series, Stud/a Anselmiana 20 (Rome, 1948), pp. 103—5. For examples of Mary sending angels, see Caesarius, Dialogus, 7.19 and Dante, Purgatorio, V, 100-07. For visions of Mary with her angels, see Caesarius, Dialogus, 7.16 and Fioretti, chap. 17 and for visions of her alone, see Caesarius, Dialogus, 7.47. Salinv bene, Cronica, pp. 56-57. 37. Origen, Contra Celsus, 8.13 (trans., ANF IV, p. 644) and 8.57 (trans., ANF IV, p. 661). 38. Hexaemeron, 5.15 (trans., p. 83). 39. On How to Prepare for the Celebration of the Mass, 16 (trans., p. 233). 40. For a treatment of the content of the cartularies, see the discussion of Michael and warfare in chapter 9. See Giovanni Boccaccio, The Decameron, 4th day, 2nd story. For Bonaventure, see Sermons, Opera, IX, p. 6i4b. and 6253.. 41. The following two paragraphs summarize the discussion of Valerie I. J. Flint, The Rise of Magic in Early Medieval Europe (Princeton, 1991), esp. pp. 157-72. The quotations are from pp. 161 and 310-11, respectively. 42. On the eighth and ninth century condemnations, see also Russell, Witchcraft, pp. 66, 68-69, and 82. For the thumbnail conjuring, see Duffy, Stripping, p. 73. For the fifteenth-century text, see M. ]. Swanton, "A Fifteenth-Century Cabalistic Memorandum Formerly in Morgan MS 775," Harvard Theological Review 76 no. 2 (April, 1983), pp. 259-61. 43. For a discussion of the significance of incense, see E. G. Cuthbert F. Atchley, A History of the Use of Incense in Divine Worship (London, 1909). Rupert of Deutz, De Divinis Of' ficiis, 1.29, PL 170, 27. 44. Rupert, De Diviniis Officiis, 1.30 and 1.35, PL 170, 27, and 30. On the dangers of demonic music and the importance of the angels in legitimating song and muscial instruments in worship, see Reinhold Hammerstein, Die Musik der Engel: Untersuchungen zur Musikanschauung des Mittelalters (Bern, 1962). Sicard of Cremona, Mitrak, 3.6, PL 213, 122-23. On the omission of the Gloria during Lent and its significance, see O. B. Hardison Jr., Christian Rite and Christian Drama in the Middle Ages: Essays in the Origin and Early History of Modern Drama (Baltimore, 1969), pp. 45 and 161. 45. Sicard, Mitrale, 3.6, PL 213, 123-24. On the Sanctus as a focal point for music, see Joseph A. Jungmann, The Mass of the Roman Rite: Its Origins and Development, trans, by Francis A. Brunner (New York, 1955), vol. 2, pp. 130—31. On the way in which singing the Sanctus elevated Christians heavenwards, see p. 128. 46.' On the possible reading of Christ in the Supplices, see D. B. Botte, "L'Ange du Sacrifice et L'Epiclese de la Messe Romain au Moyen Age," Recherches de Theologie ancienne et medievale i (1929), pp. 285-308. For Salimbene's use of Gregory, see Cronica, p. 490. See also Gregory, Dialogues, 4.58-60. 47. On angels in the liturgy and at Mass in the patristic era, see Danielou, Angels, pp. 62ff. On the history of the Sanctus and the Supplices, see Jungmann, Mass, vol. 2, 128-35 and 231-37. 48. For discussions of the Mass in the medieval period, see C. and R. Brooke, Religion, pp. ii5f and Leclerq et al., Spirituality, pp. 245ff. For early medieval confusion, see also E. G. Cuthbert F. Atchley, On the Epiclesis of the Eucharistic Liturgy and in the Consecration of the Font (London, 1935), pp. 161—64. On the excellence of priestly power, see Instructio Socerdotis 2.9, PL 184, 785-86. 49. For the confraternities, see Leclerq et al., Spirituality, pp. 351-52. On clerical vestments and the cope, sec Alexander, Age of Chivalry, p. 88 and p. 456, fig. 576. For the pyx, see Philadelphia Museum of Art, no. 65-99-1 (Mcllhnenney Collection). 50. See Breviloquium, Prologue, 6.5 (trans., p. 22); On How to Prepare for the Celebration

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of the Mass, 1.9 (trans., pp. 225-26); Letter Containing Twenty-Five Points to Remember, 12; and Hexaemeron, 22.35 (trans., p.358). 51. Peter the Chanter, Verbum Abbreviation 30, PL 205, no. Instructio Sacerdotis 2.9, PL 184, 785-86. 52. For the angel catching the Host, see Caesarius, Dialogws, 9.58. For angels singing hymns, see, for example, Dialogus, 8.9 and 11.2. For the Sanctus in late medieval lay devotions and a discussion of angels in iconographic representations of the Mass, see Pamela Sheingorn, "The Te Deum Altarpiece and the Iconography of Praise," in Daniel Williams, ed., Early Tudor England: Proceedings of the 1987 Harlaxton Symposium (Woodbridge, 1989), pp. 171-82. For the Mass of the Five Wounds, see Duffy, Stripping, p. 293. 53. Alcuin, Liber Sacramentorum, 3, PL 101, 449-50. Beleth, Summa de Ecdesiasticis Officiis, ch. 51, CCSL Cont. Med. 4iA, p. 89. For a survey of the history of Votive Masses in the Middle Ages, see ]. A. Jungmann, S.J., Pastoral Liturgy, trans, by Challoner Publications (London, 1962), pp. 251-72. 54. Sermons, Opera, IX, p. 6aia. 55. George C. Homans, English Villagers of the Thirteenth Century (New York, 1975), pp. 67 and 354. 56. Schuster, The Sacramentary, May 8, pp. 154-55 and Jacobus, Legenda, chap. 145, "Michael." 57. Adams, Mont-St.-Michel, p. 160 presents an example of the traditional view of the displacement of Michael by Mary. The four-volume commemoration of Mont-SaintMichel edited by J. Laporte, Millenaire monastique du Mont-Saint-Michel (Paris, 1966-67), contains a wealth of articles on the historical, architectural, religious, and cultic aspects Michael and this shrine in the Middle Ages. For London's dedications, see Weinreb Hibbert, eds., London, "Michael," pp. 748-50. For Salimbene, see his Cronica, p. 383. For a history of the monastery in the thirteenth century, Paul Gout, Le Mont-Saint-Michel, 2 vol., (Paris, 1910), vol. 1, pp. 154-75. 58. For a discussion of the mass pilgrimages, see Jonathan Sumption, Pilgrimage: An Image of Mediaeval Religion (Totowa, NJ: Rowman and Littlefield, 1975), pp. 285-86. For the university seal, see A. A. Germain et al., Saint Michel et le Mont-Saint-Michel (Paris, 1880), p. 480, fig. 179. On the "death regimen" involving Michael and Mary, see Duffy, Stripping, pp. 318-19 and 324-25 (see also plates 120-22). 59. See Alexander Nequam, Speculum, III, chap, xxiv, xxvi, xxvii, pp. 287-90. Compare Pullen, Sentences, 6.25-29 (PL 186, 881-83) with Lombard's Sentences, II, d. 10, c. 2. 60. Abelard, trans, by Sister Jane Patricia, The Hymns of Abelard in English Verse (New York, 1986), pp. 99-101. 61. Adam of St. Victor, Sequentiae, "de Sancto Michaele," PL 196, 1517—20. Bonaventure, Sermons, Opera, IX, p. 619. 62. On the contribution to road building, see "Roads and Bridges, European," in Joseph R. Strayer, ed., Dictionary of the Middle Ages (New York, 1982), vol. 10, p. 4129. For St. Louis, see Ernest Goethals, Le Mont-Saint-Michel (Paris: Savaete, 1897), pp. 119-20, 122. For Bonaventure, see Legenda Maior, 14.6. For Ireland, see Patrick Logan, The Holy Wells of Ireland (London, 1980), pp. 45—46, 69. For Otto's pilgrimage, see Horton and MarieHelene Davies, Holy Days and Holidays (Lewisburg, 1982), p. 30. For the festive nature of a pilgrimage, see C. and R. Brooke, Religion, p-96, n. 64. For Raoul Glaber, see his Histories 3.10. 63. On the dangers of journeying to Mont-Saint-Michel, see Sumption, Pilgrimage, p. 182. The pilgrim's chant is in PL 155, 1292. For a discussion of Francis's expectations of seeing the angels at the church called St. Mary of the Angels, see chapter 6. Plates 24—28 of Laporte, ed., Miilenaire, vol. 3, contain a number of archangelic pilgrim's badges from


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throughout the medieval period. For this epithet for Michael, see A. Wilmart, Auteurs, p. 212. 64. For the material in this paragraph, see Davies, Holy Days, pp. 53, 86 (map), 87, 116, 122, and 141-44. 65. A translation of this text is provided by Joyce Hill in her "From Rome to Jerusalem: An Icelandic Itinerary of the Mid-Twelfth Century," Harvard Theological Review 76, no. 2 (1983), pp. 175-203. For Monte Gargano, see pp. 178 and 182-83. 66. On the cloth, footprint, and spur, see Jacobus, Legenda, chap. 145, "Michael" and Hill, "Rome," p. 183. On the seaside rocks and the expectations of rinding Michael's bones at Mont-Saint-Michel, see Sumption, Pilgrimage, pp. 25 and 49. For a discussion of an Ark of the Covenant reliquary, see David F. Appleby, "Rudolf, Abbot Hrabanus and the Ark of the Covenant Reliquary," American Benedictine Review, 46, no. 4 (Dec., 1995), pp. 419-43. For Hans Belting's discussion of the angels as presenters of relics, see his The Image and Its Public in the Middle Ages: Form and Function of Early Paintings of the Passion, trans, by Mark Bartusis and Raymond Meyer (New Rochelle, 1990), pp. 35, 80—84,andl 210—13. 67. For Francis' devotion, see Legenda Maior, 9.3 and 13.1. For Brother Peter, see Actus, chap. 53, pp. 161-62. 68. C. and R. Brooke, Religion, p. 140. For this discussion of angels and medieval drama, I have also drawn on Hardison, Christian Rite, Hammerstein, Musik, and John Wesley Harris, Medieval Theatre in Context: An Introduction (London, 1992). 69. On the casting of the angel for the Quem Quaeritur, see Hardison, Christian Rite, pp. 36-7, 175, and 234-9. See Paul Heinze, Die Engel aufder mittelalterlichen Mysterienbuhne Frankreichs (Greifswald, 1905), p. 18. See also Martial Rose, editor, The Wakefield Mystery Plays (New York, 1961), Introduction, p. 51. 70. "Tune angelus apprehendens eum capillo capitis sui, ducet ad locum." As quoted in Heinze, Mysterienbuhne, p. 30. 71. Erich Auerbach, trans., by Willard R. Trask, Mimesis (Princeton, 1974), p. 154. Auerbach discusses the ways in which medieval drama brought the sublime and the quotidian together. See pp. 143—73. 72. C. and R. Brooke, Religion, pp. 25, n8f, and 147. 73. For Bernard, see William of St. Thierry et al, Vita Prima, 1.6.28. For angels and penance in the patristic era, see Peterson, Angels, p. 35. See also Gregory the Great, Dialogues, 1.12. See also Ancrene Riivle, trans, by M. B. Salu (Notre Dame, 1956), p. 157, and Geoffrey of Admont, Homilies on Scripture, 13, PL 174, 1115-16. For Bonaventure, see Sermons, Opera, IX, pp. 625b—26b and pp. 366—69. 74. For two versions of the story of St. Giles, see Melzer, ed., Pilgrim's Guide, pp. 99 and 161-62 n.i5i, and Jacobus, Legenda, chap. 130, "Saint Giles." See also chap. 145, "Michael" for Jacobus's sustained discussion of angels and confession. 75. Acttts, chap. 29, pp. 101-5. 76. For Elisabeth of Schonau, see Ann L. Clark, Elisabeth of Schonau: A Twelfth-Century Visionary (Philadelphia, 1992), p. 87-88. Gertrude the Great, Exerdces, ist Exercise, lines 81-82. Ancrene Riwle, trans, by M. B. Salu (Notre Dame, 1956), pp. 29, 71, and 186. CHAPTER 9 1. Sermons, Opera, IX, p. 6i4b. 2. Johan Huizinga, trans., by F. Hopman, The Waning of the Middle Ages (New York, 1954), pp. 167-68; Bonaventure, 2 Sent., d. 10, a. 1, q. 1, conc (Opera, II, p. 260); Bo of Dacia, trans, by John F. Wippel, On Dreams (Toronto, 1987), p. 75 and n. 14; and for the censure of Boethius in the Condemnations of 1277, see CUP I, p. 545.



3. Caesarius, Dialogus, 8.36. 4. Actus, chap. 3, pp. 11—16 and Caesarius, Dialogus, 1.6. 5. For the examples discussed in this paragraph, see Jacobus, Legenda, chap. 189, "Feast of the Conception of the Blessed Virgin Mary," and Caesarius, Dialogus, 7.16; 11.16; 1.40; and 8.46. 6. See Gregory of Tours, History of the Franks, 6.29; Caesarius, Dialogus, 8.43; Bernard, Office of St. Victor; and Gregory the Great, Dialogues, 1.4. 7. The importance of visions for female spiritual authority is a central theme of Ann L. Clark's Elisabeth of Schonau (Philadelphia, 1992), and Bynum's Jesus as Mother and Holy Feast and Holy Fast. 8. For accounts of angelic visitations in the twentieth century, see Sophy Burnham's A Book of Angels (New York, 1990). 9. For a discussion of Jewish and Christian accounts of journeys to heaven, see Martha Himmelfarb, Ascent to Heaven in Jewish and Christian Apocalypses (New York, 1993). On the reality of dreams, see LeGoff, Purgatory, p. 177. For Caesarius, see for example, Dialogus, 7.16, 7.37, 8.90; for Jacobus, see Legenda, chap. 162, "All Saints." 10. For a discussion of the relationship between Patrick and Victoricus, see Theodora Ward, Men and Angels (New York, 1969), pp. iooff. For the thesis of angels as faeries, see Bertram Colgrave, ed. and trans, Felix's Life of Saint Guthlac (Cambridge, 1985), p. 187. For Elisabeth and her angel, see Clark, Elisabeth, pp. 86-91. Jacobus, Legenda, chap. 46, "Gregory the Great." Actus, chap. 3, pp. 11-16. 11. Caesarius, Dialogus, 1.6. 12. For a discussion of this point, see Male, Gothic, p. 180. 13. See, for example, Ward, Men and Angeis, pp. 64, 74-75. 14. See for example, Dialogus, 1.40 and 7.19. 15. Bonaventure, Legenda Maior, 5.11; Bernard, Office of St. Victor; Aquinas, Summa contra Gentiles, 3.102-4. 16. On Luther, see Ward, Men and Angels, p. 147; Thomas, Religion, pp. 89, 127, and 590. 17. Caesarius, Diaiogus, 1.16; Jacobus, Legenda, chap. 82, "Lives of Saint Vitus and Modestus." 18. Salimbene, Cronica, pp. 827—28. 19. Caesarius, Dialogus, 7.26. 20. Salimbene, Cronica, pp. 828-29. 21. For a discussion of the relative interest and roles of Elisabeth and Ekbert in these matters, see Clark, Elisabeth, pp. 60-61. 22. On how people see angels, see Caesarius, Dialogus, 7.16. For Guibert of Nogent, see LeGoff, Purgatory, p. 182. On teleportation, see Caesarius, Diaiogus, 1.40. Alexander Nequam, Speculum, III, xxiv (p. 288). 23. Jacobus, Legenda, chap. 145, "Michael." 24. Catherine of Sienna, trans., by Suzanne Noffke, O.P., The Dialogue (New York, 1980), pp. 225. Aquinas, Summa contra Gentiles, 3.92. 25. Bernard McGinn, The Foundations of Mysticism, vol. 1 of The Presence of God: History of Western Christiam Mysticism (New York, 1991), p. xv. For McGinn's use of Elisabeth to distinguish between visionaries and mystics, see vol. 2 of Presence, The Growth of Mysticism (New York, 1994), p. 337. My discssion of the relationships between angels and mysticism owes a great deal to these two volumes. Actus, chap. 54, p. 165. 26. For a brief history of these aspects of medieval mysticism, see Ozment, Age, 115—34. 27. For an examination of the importance of the seraphim in particular in Bonaventure's mysticism and his eschatology, see E. Randolph Daniel, "St. Bonaventure: Defender


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of Franciscan Eschatology," in J. G. Bougerol, ed., S. Bonaventura 1274—1974 (Rome, 1973-4), vol. 4, pp. 793-806. 28. Itinerarium, 6.5-6 (trans., pp. 52-53); 6.4 (trans., p. 52); and 4.4. For a discussion of Isaac of Stella's and Hugh of St. Victor's use of the seraphim, see McGinn, Growth, pp. 292-3 and 376-9. For Isaac's use of the nine orders, see his Letter Concerning the Soul 8, PL 194, 1880. 29. Richard of St. Victor, The Mystical Ark (Benjamin Major), 4.6, PL 196, 140. For a careful study of the cherubim in Richard's work, see Steven Chase, Angelic Wisdom: The Cherubim and the Grace of Contemplation in Richard of St. Victor (Notre Dame, 1995). 30. On Eckhart's mysticism and his beliefs about angels, see Ozment, Age, pp. 127-34, and Ward, Men and Angels, pp. 120-22. 31. Julian of Norwich, Revelations of Divine Love, chap. 80. 32. On weekly meditative schemes and angels, see Jungmann, Pastoral, pp. 268-69. 33. Chenu, Nature, p. 158. 34. Caesarius, Dialogus, 8.47. For Chrysostom, see Jacobus, Legenda, chap. 38, "Saint John Chrysostom." 35. Jacobus, Legenda, chap. 145, "Michael" and Sicard of Cremona, Mitrak, 9.25, PL 213, 414. For Andreas, see Erdmann, Origin, pp. 99—100. 36. P. L. Hull, ed., The Cartulary of St. Michael's Mount (Torquay, 1962), pp. xiii, i. On Henry V and his procession in London, see Ernest Jacob Fraser, The Fifteenth Century, 1399-1485 (Oxford, 1961), 158-9. 37. Carl Erdmann, trans, by Marshall W. Baldwin and Walter Goffart, The Origin of the Idea of Crusade (Princeton, 1977), pp. 20—21, 44—45, 293—94. Philippe Contamine, trans, by Michael Jones, War in the Middle Ages (Oxford, 1989), p. 297-98. Bonaventure, Sermons, Opera, IX, p. 6i7b. On the celestial origins of chivalry, see Huizinga, Waning, p. 67. 38. "Institute Ordinis de Ala," PL 188, 171-74. 39. Njal's Saga, chaps. 100 and 102. For Michael in Kievan Rus, see Natalia Teteriatnikov, "The Role of the Devotional Image in the Religious Life of Pre-Mongol Rus," in William C. Bmmfield and Milos M. Velimirovic, eds., Christianity and the Arts in Russia (Cambridge, 1991), pp. 30-34. 40. Alexander Nequam, Speculum, III.xv (p. 276). See, for example, Bonaventure, 2 Sent., d. 9, praenotata (Opera, II, pp. 237-41) and Aquinas, ST, I.io8.6. 41. Jacobus, Legenda, chap. 166, "Life of Saint Martin the Bishop." For Caesarius, see, for example, Dialogus, 11.7,10, and 13. Pamela Sheingorn, "'And flights of angels sing thee to thy rest': The Soul's Conveyance to the Afterlife in the Middle Ages," in Carol Garrett Fisher and Kathleen L. Scott, eds., Art into Life: Collected Papers from the Kresge Art Museum Medieval Symposia (East Lansing, Mich., 1995), p. 163. To see the ways this victory could be conveyed in a story, often as a coda to a person's life, see Dialogus, 1.6 and 7.37. 42. For the inscription, see Schuster, The Sacramentary, October 24, p. 191. On the Angel Pieta, see Belting, Image, pp. 78-80, and Duffy, Stripping, p. 238. On mourning angels, see Clara Erskine Clement (Waters), Angels in Art (Boston, 1898), p. 151. For Hugh's tombstone, see Erwin Panofsky, Gothic Architecture and Scholasticism (New York, 1976), p. 111,fig.1. For a discussion the tomestones in China, see two essays by John Foster in The International Review of Missions: "Crosses and Angels from Fourteenth-Century China" and "Christian Art in Fourteenth-Century China," respectively vol. 44 (1955), pp. 170-74, and vol. 51 (1962), pp. 430-38. 43. For Notre Dame's glass, see Aubert, Vitraux, p. 48, pi. 6, 1-13. For Bonaventure, see, for example, Sermons, Opera, IX, p. 6i8a and 6303. For prayers, see, for example, A. Wilmart, Auteurs, p. 544. 44. For translations of the prayers and a dicussion of the Commendations, see Shein-

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gorn, "Soul's," pp. 160-61 and 177. For the guild requirements, see Duffy, Stripping, p. 220. am grateful to Christopher B. Brown for the reference to Martin Schalling's hymn. 45. See, Jacobus, Legenda, chap. 145, "Michael" and Caesarius, Dialogus, 12.5 and 8.45. 46. Bonaventure, Legenda Maior, 9.3; Caesarius, Dialogus, 8.45, and Jacobus, Legenda, chap. 145, "Michael." For a discussion of the roles of angels as psychopompoi in the Fathers' understanding of death, see Danielou, Angels, p. 95f. Gregory of Tours, History, 6.29. The Song of Roland, chap. 176. See also Adams, Mont-St'Michel and Chartres, pp. 28f. 47. Aubert, Vitraux, p. 61, A'ig, A-23, and p. 63, pi. 12, for examples of stained glass depictions of angels bearing crowns. Caesarius, Dialogus, 8.45. 48. Jean de Joinville, trans, by Margaret Shaw, The Life of Saint Louis, in Jean de Joinville and Geoffroy de Villehardouin, Chronicles of the Crusades (New York, 1982), p. 174. 49. For examples of Michael holding the weighing scales, see Joan Evans, Cluniac Art of the Romanesque Period (Cambridge, 1950), figs. 119-20, and on alternatives to Michael's holding the scales, see p. 69. 50. C. and R. Brooke, Religion, pi. 34. 51. Jacobus, Legenda, chap, i, "The Advent of Our Lord." For the prayer, see Duffy, Stripping, pp. 238-42. 52. Danielou, Angels, p. 99. 53. Jacobus, Legenda, chap. 163, "Commemoration of All Souls." 54. Bonaventure, Soliloquy, 1.7 (trans., p. 47). Jacobus, Legenda, chap, 11, "St. Thomas of Canterbury." Catherine, Dialogue, pp. 264, 313. On the Heavenly Liturgy, see Sheingorn, "Soul's," pp. 170—73. CONCLUSION i. Hexaemeron, 21.19.

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Index of Biblical Passages

Genesis 11-36, 72, 109, 190 1:26-7 20-1 3:24 15, 28, 186 6:1-4 33 I5:1, 5 35, 50 18 29-30, 35-6, 50, 52-3, 120,


19 28:12 32

30, 36, 5O, 12O-1, 136,



Song of Songs 41, no, 197

51, 117

29, 33-4,


69, 201

Exodus 12:23 39 25:17-21 37, 60-1, 183, 197, 200 37:7-9 135 Numbers

22:31 29, 42, 110, 191 Deuteronomy 32:8 38 2 Samuel 24:16 39, 194 2 Kings 6:7 52

Job 26:12

Psalms 78:25 176 91:11 37 104:4 51, 64 137:1 37, 39, 118, 121, 181 148:2-5 19


Isaiah 6: 1-7 30, 37, 51-2, 58-60, 127, 174-6, 186, 197-9 33:7 34, 49, 143 37:36 39 63: 1-2 68 Jeremiah 16:16 52 51:9 49, 162 Ezekiel 29 10 30, 65 28:14 25 Daniel 14 7:10 11, 51 10:13 38, 62-3 12:7 138




Tobit 29-30, 50-1, 63, 156, 161, 167-8, 173,

177, 182, 186

Galatians 1:8 44 3:19 36

Judith 47-8

Ephesians 3:14-9 12

Matthew 13:41-2 45, 206 18:10 104, 161 22:30 26, 44, 49, 117, 119, 166, 207 24:29—31 45, 66 25:53 34 28:3 30

Colossians 2:15-8 40, 172

Mark 16:5 30 Luke 1:28 40 2:14 37, 175 15:10 27, 34, 55, 107, 186 16 14, 44, 204 Acts 43, 193 7 36 17:34 55 1 Corinthians 6:3 43-4 11:10 172 12:10 194 2 Corinthians 3:6 48 10:5 106 11:4 141, 194 12:2 43, 55, 197

Hebrews 39 1:7 51, 64 1:14 31, 71, 126 2:2 36 12:22 34 13:2 30 1 Peter 1:12 34 3:22 40 2 Peter 2:4-6 24, 120 Jude 14, 38, 63, 120, 205 Apocalypse 14, 43, 45, 128-154,169, 206 4:8 65 5:1134 7:1-4 64, 144-5, 147 8:3-5 37. 168, 175 10:1 30 12 38, 45, 168, 201 18:7 12 22:8-9 172

Index of Names and Subjects

The Contents provide the locations of specific topical discussions pertaining to angels and angelology as well as to Bonaventure's own life and writings. Hence, these are not detailed in this Index, which serves as a supplement to the Contents. Abelard, 18, 55, 66, 78-9, 89, 181 acedia, 53, 109, 121-2 Actus Bead Francisci et Sociorum ejus,

39, 52, 126, 140, 152, 163, 192 Adam of St. Victor, 181 Aelfric the Grammarian, 25 Aelred of Rievaulx, 118 aeviternity, 23, 76 Alan of Lille, 41, 67, 104 Albertus Magnus, 22, 27, 86, 89, 104 Alcuin, 178 Alexander of Hales, 26, 72-3, 89, 91, 95, 106, 148-9, 151, 156 Algazel, 19, 34 Ancrene Riwle, 66, 186-7 Andrew of St. Victor, 84 Angel of the Lord, 35-6 Angelus, 171 Anselm of Canterbury, 23, 25, 27, 81 Anselm of Laon, 25 Aquinas, Thomas, 13-27, 34, 40, 47-114 passim, 129, 131-3, 149, 161-4, 166, 190, 193-6, 203 Arians, 17, 40, 201 Aristotle, Aristotelianism, 15, 17-9, 22,

31-4, 41, 68, 71-114 passim, 130, 146-7, 176 Ark of the Covenant, 60-1, 70, 183, 197, 199-201 art and architecture, 11, 13, 16, 28—31, 43-5, 64-5, 130, 155, 182, 204, 206 Augustine, 13-27, 34, 50, 54-5, 71-2, 85, 87-8, 94, 96, 98, 100, 102-3, 105-6, 109-10, 128, 134, 136, 173, 179, 204 Ave Maria, 171, 195 Averroes, Averroism, 82, 94 Avicebron, 94-5 Avicenna, 19, 21, 34, 101 Beguines, 122, 158 Beleth, John, 16, 64, 178 Belting, Hans, 183 Benedict, Benedict's Rule, 77, 85, 117-8, 121—2

Bernard of Clairvaux, 11, 13, 18, 32, 39, 44. 53. 55-60, 64, 66, 69, 75-92 passim, 95-6, 100-02, 105, 108, 110, 113, 117-128 passim, 130, 136, 163, 169, 174, 186, 191, 193, 197-8 Bocthius, 27, 80, 96-8, 190 Boethius of Dacia, 112 257



Boswell, John, 162 Brentano, Robert, 158 Brooke, Rosalind and Christopher, 184, 186 Bynum, Carolyn Walker, 67, 187, 191

Elliot, Dyan, 167 emotions of angels, 34, 49, 128, 186-7, 196, see also acedia Erdman, Carl, 202 Erigena, John Scotus, 55, 60, 85, 104, 197

Caesarius of Heisterbach, 57, 66, 118-9, 188-207 passim Callahan, Daniel, 4 Cathars, 17-8, 22, 25, 40, 68, 99, 172 Catherine of Sienna, 108, 196, 207 Chase, Steven, 5, 197, 200 Chaucer, Geoffrey, 31, 120, 167 Chenu, M.-D., 53 cherub, cherubim, 25, 28, 31, 54, 126, 147, 150-2, 197-201, 205 Christ, 13, 25, 34, 36-7, 43, 51, 59, 63, 67, 124, 139, 143, 148, 150, 163, 165, 168, 175, 188, 191-2, 200, 204 Chrodegang of Metz, 118 Cistercians, 55, 57, 193 Cola Di Rienzo, 54, 202 Colish, Marcia L., 18, 72, 90, 93 Collins, J.D., 4, 74, 93, 98, 103 Condemnations of 1277, 22, 73, 86, 94, 111-4, 146, 170 Constable, Giles, 67 Contamine, Philippine, 202 Crusades, crusaders, 13, 68, 135, 180

Flint, Valerie I.J., 18, 173-4 Francis, 15, 27, 29, 59, 156, 181, 183-4, 189, 193, 199 Franciscans, 14-5, 29, 52, 59, 80, 99-100, 122-154, 186 Frederick II, emperor, 57, 137, 147

Danielou, Jean, 4, 13, 206 Dante Alighieri, 16, 25-6, 53, 55, 58, 62, 66, 87, 94, 106-7, 137, 145, 154, 158-9, 163, 171, 182, 187, 192, 196, 206 demons, Devil, 3, 11-27, 31, 33, 38, 45, 48 51, 61-3, 65-7, 72, 77, 90, 103, 105-6, 131, 134, 161, 163, 168, 173-5, 181-2, 188, 192, 194-5, 201-2, 204 Dominicans, 52, 99-100, 122-3, 130, 132, 134, 140, 147, 199 Douie, Decima, 131 drama, 24, 31, 178, 184-5 Duby, Georges, 67 Duns Scotus, Johannes, 89, 99, 111, 114 Eckhardt, Meister, 200 Elisabeth of Schonau, 29, 37, 187-8, 191-2, 195-6

Gabriel, archangel, 14, 33, 41, 61, 63-5, 91, 164, 170-1, 173-4, 185, 187, 202, 205 guardian angels, 26, 36-8, 61, 64, 100, 104, 106-7, 109, 157, 161-5, 204 Geoffrey of Admont, 51, 59, 118, 186 Gerard d'Abbeville, 132-3 Gerard of Borgo San Donino, 135, 142, 144-5, 147, 149-50, 152 Gertrude the Great of Helfta, 120, 122, 166, 187, 191 Giles of Rome, 18, 21, 34 Gilson, Etienne, 4, 93, 98, 101-2 Glossa Ordinaria, 48-51, 55, 68-9, 161, 181 Gnostics, 17, 40 Gregorian reform, 79, 123, 135 Gregory I, pope 11, 13, 17, 25-6, 29, 41, 43, 47-70 passim, 71-2, 77, 119, 155-6, 176, 186, 190-2 Gregory VII, pope, 25, 44 Guillaume of St. Amour, 80, 131 Gurevich, Aron, 156 heavens, angels as movers of, 22, 35, 66-7, 82—4, see also intelligences Heinze, Paul, 4, 67, 185 Henry IV, emperor, 25, 44, 147 hierarchies of angels, 41, 43, 51, 53-69, 109, 115, 118-9, 131-2, 139, 146-7, 150, 157, 174-5, 185, 203, 207 Hildegard of Bingen, 135, 189, 191 Hilton, Walter, 201 Honorius of Autun, 13, 43, 67, 70, 100, 132 Hugh of Saint Victor, 18, 26, 33-5, 47-9, 55, 59-60, 68-9, 84, 86, 89, 94, 99, 102-3, 118, 181, 199


Huizinga, Johan, 190 hylomorphism, 87, 93-9, 107 hymns, 45, 175, see also liturgy Innocent IV, pope, 85, 131, 140 Instructio Sacerdotis, 57, 177 intelligences, 19, 22, 34, 71, 73, 82-3, 86, 101, 105, 110, 112 Isaac of Stella, 199 Isidore of Seville, 13 Jacobus de Voragine, 41-2, 50, 55, 68, 119, 121, 150, 155-207 passim Jerome, 13, 56, 59, 62, 78, 133 Joachim of Fiore, 52, 133-153 Joan of Arc, 139, 180, 189, 192, 194, 202 Judaism, Jewish angelology, 3, 35-7, 39-40, 94, 104, see also Philo and Avicebron Julian of Norwich, 188, 199-200 Justin Martyr, 20, 35 Kempe, Margery, 200 Langton, Stephen, 18, 26 Lateran Council, Fourth, 22, 137, 147, 176-7, 185 Leclerq, Jean, 120 LeGoff, Jacques, 192 Liber Responsalis, 165 liturgy, 11, 31, 43, 54, 100, 117, 166, 175, 181, 185, 207, see also Sanctus Luther, Martin, 26, 89, 106, 154, 194 magic, 18, 63, 66-7, 105, 203 Marsilius of Padua, 44 Mary, 14, 41, 63, 67-8, 85, 120, 124, 163, 167-8, 170-1, 179, 184, 187-8, 192, 194-5 Masses, votive, 16, 178, 206 McGinn, Bernard, 118, 137, 145, 196-8 Michael, archangel, 18, 31, 38-9, 42, 45, 48, 51, 61, 63-5, 67-8, 91-2, 124, 132, 139, 155-88 passim, 189-96, 201-7, see also Mont-Saint-Michel and Monte Gargano monks, monastic orders, 77-81, 100, 109, 115-23, 130, 136, 147 Mont-Saint-Michel, 4, 125, 136, 170, 179-84, 186, 202, 205


Monte Gargano, 4, 125, 170, 174, 179-84, 186, 201 Moore, R.I., 158 Murray, Alexander, 79 mysticism, 136, 142, 149, 151, 197-201 Nicea, Council of, 17, 21-2, 40 Njal's Saga, 203 Neoplatonism, 17-9, 21, 54, 72, 85, 104, 108, 199 Nequam, Alexander, 91, 99, 101, 110, 113-4, 162, 196, 203 Patrick, 164, 192

penance, 100, 185-7 Peter the Chanter, 177 Peter Damian, 30, 120-2, 161 Peter Lombard, 21-3, 25-6, 55-6, 71-92 passim, 95, 99, 101, 105, 110, 162 Peter of Poitiers, 25 Peter the Venerable, 35, 163 Peterson, Eric, 4 Philippines, 180 Philo, 17,48 pilgrimages, pilgrims, 13, 155, 179—184 Plato, Platonism, 18, 21, 72, 86, 108 prayers, 11, 38, 66, 104, 111, 121, 151, 161-88 passim, 204-5 Pseudo-Dionysius, 31, 35, 38, 47-70 passim, 90, 94, 102, 110, 153, 195-9 Pullen, Robert, 25, 89-91 Purgatory, 178, 192, 206 Ockham, William, 89, 114 Olivi, Peter, 153-4 Origen, 16, 18, 24-5, 48-9, 59, 66, 68, 71-2, 165, 169, 172 Radulph Ardens, 29, 121 Raphael, archangel, 18, 51, 63-5, 91, 164, 167, 174, 182, 185-6, 190 Ratzinger, Joseph, 145 Reeves, Marjorie, 133, 149, 153 Reformation, 29, 122, 194, 205 relics, reliquaries, 13, 60, 130, 168, 179, 183, 190—1 Richard Fitz-Ralph, 113 Richard of St. Victor, 28, 60, 135, 197, 199-200



Robert of Melun, 18 Rojdestvensky, Olga, 4 Rupert of Deutz, 135, 175 Salimbene de Adam, 15, 29, 52, 56, 78, 126, 137-49, 152-3 , 158, 171, 176, 180 Sanctus, 24, 37, 59, 65, 105, 127, 181, 185, 199, 207, see also liturgy Satan, see demons seraph, seraphim, 25, 27, 30-1, 54, 105, 124, 126—7, 132,142-3 146-7, 149-52, 176, 196-201, 207 seraphic Christ, 142-3 sex, sexuality, 24, 33, 115-23. 133 Sheingorn, Pamela, 65 Sicard of Cremona, 39, 64, 175-6 Siger of Brabant, 112 sloth, see acedia Song of Roland, 45, 205

soul, 63, 97, 104, 161, 164, 207 Stein von Baditz, Nora, 4 Suarez, Francisco de, 7 Summa Sententiarum, 23, 25, 108, 110 Sylla, Edith, 4 Tajon of Saragossa, 17 Tertullian, 35, 165, 167 Thomas, Keith, 194 Trinity, 20, 36, 50, 53-4, 59, 69, 120, 135, 146, 178, 199 University of Paris, 14-5, 73, 75-92 passim, 131-49, 180 Uriel, archangel, 63, 185 Van Deusen, Nancy, 4 Villette, j., 5 William of Auxerre, 18, 42, 72, 106 William of Conches, 18, 86